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Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2006, 18:41 GMT
Man guilty of wife-in-case murder
Adeeba Ahmed
Ms Ahmed was last seen on Valentine's Day
A man who strangled his wife and dumped her body in the River Thames in a suitcase faces a life sentence after being found guilty at the Old Bailey.

Zaheer Ahmed, 28, of Langley, Slough, Berkshire, reported his wife Adeeba, 27, missing on Valentine's Day 2004.

Ahmed told police he last saw the airport check-in assistant when he dropped her off at the hairdresser.

Ahmed, who had denied murdering his wife between 12 and 17 February 2004, will be sentenced on 2 March.

Police discovered his Valentine cards to her lay unopened at their home - the two she had bought for him had not been written, the trial heard.

Two days later, a member of the public called police after finding the suitcase on the bank of the River Thames at Barnes, south west London, on 16 February.

No doubt her murderer hoped the river would sweep the suitcase away and his crime never be discovered
Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting
However, the suitcase had been seen on the river bank on the morning of Valentine's Day, Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting, told the court.

Mr Ahmed, a customer services assistant, and his wife 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.

"No doubt her murderer hoped the river would sweep the suitcase away and his crime never be discovered."

Of the fibres that were recovered from the outside surface of the suitcase, 21 that were "chemically and microscopically examined", were found to be the same as fibres found at five different sources at the Ahmed's flat.

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, Mr Laidlaw 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.


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