Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 10:23 UK

Murder accused claimed wife hit head on bath taps

Nicolson Street
Randa Kamblawi's body was found in their home in Nicolson Street

A husband accused of murdering his wife with a hammer in their Edinburgh home told her family she fell and hit her head on bath taps, a court has heard.

Yahya Babiker, 45, turned up at his in-laws' home in the middle of the night and left his children with them, a High Court in Perth heard.

He denies murdering Randa Kamblawi, dumping her body in the bath and failing to report her death.

Her body was found in their home in Nicolson Street on 20 October 2009.

Edinburgh University student Alla Hassan said Mr Babiker, a Sudanese national, arrived at her home at 0200 BST and asked her family to take care of the children for a week.

He was calm and controlled but he did seem a bit distracted and in a rush to leave
Alla Hassan
Court witness

She told a court jury he said his wife was "sleeping" and felt ill, then left "abruptly" clutching a number of carrier bags.

Miss Hassan told the jury: "He was in a rush to get out. He said she was fine, a bit tired, and that we could speak to her in the morning.

"He was calm and controlled but he did seem a bit distracted and in a rush to leave. The fact that he wasn't panicked meant we didn't think the worst.

"We thought the worst that happened was that maybe they had had an argument or something. Everyone was worried so we started to phone the house but there was no answer. It just kept ringing."

The court heard that Mrs Kamblawi's body was discovered in the flat some time later. Mr Babiker eventually called Miss Hassan, 21, and claimed that his wife had fallen in the bath.

One-way ticket

Miss Hassan told the jury: "As soon as I answered he was quite hysterical and his opening statement was 'I'm innocent', which he kept repeating frequently.

"I asked why, if he was innocent, he ran away, and what had actually happened. Amongst being hysterical he replied that she fell in the bath tub and she hit her head off the taps.

"Then he said when he saw all the blood he didn't really know what he was doing afterwards. He kept crying and saying 'I'm innocent'."

Mr Babiker denies washing blood from the bedroom walls, bedroom furniture and fittings, the hallway floors and door and the bathroom floor and walls with a mop and bucket to remove traces of his wife's blood.

He further denies disposing of the murder weapon at an unknown location, dumping her body in the bath and failing to report her death to delay the possibility of the police investigating and gathering evidence.

Mr Babiker further denies hampering any probe into the murder by taking a taxi to Edinburgh Airport and trying to buy a one-way ticket to Paris. He denies flying to Heathrow and hiding out in London.

The trial, before Lady Stacey, continues.



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