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Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 22:04 GMT
Man 'dumped wife's body in river'
Adeeba Ahmed
Ms Ahmed was last seen on Valentine's Day
A man strangled his wife and dumped her body in the River Thames in a suitcase hoping it would be swept away, a jury at the Old Bailey has heard.

Zaheer Ahmed, 28, of Langley, Slough, Berkshire, reported his wife Adeeba missing on Valentine's Day 2004.

Jurors heard how he told police he last saw the 27-year-old when he dropped her off at the hairdresser.

Mr Ahmed denies a charge of murdering his wife on a date between 12 and 17 February 2004.

Her body was discovered on the bank of the River Thames at Barnes, south-west London, on 16 February but the suitcase had been seen on the river bank on the morning of Valentine's Day, said Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting.

'Strains and pressures'

Two Valentine cards bought by Mrs Ahmed to give to her husband were found by police unwritten.

Mr Ahmed, a customer services assistant, and his wife, an airport check-in assistant, had appeared a devoted couple, Mr Laidlaw said.

But "appearances can be deceptive and in this case there were clear strains and pressures," he added.

On the night of the 13 February, a neighbour heard the couple arguing in their flat and had to drown out the noise by turning up her television, he said.

The court also heard how traces of Mr Ahmed's DNA were found under his dead wife's fingernails and that a scratch was found on his neck, suggesting he had been in a struggle.

Fibres recovered from the suitcase were also found in their home.

The trial continues.

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