An accountant made “disturbing” online searches including how to bury a person alive before his wife was found dead in their backyard, a Perth court has heard.
Ahmed Dawood Seedat, 37, faced a sentencing hearing in the West Australian Supreme Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to murdering 32-year-old Fahima Yusuf on August 31, 2018.
The court heard Ms Yusuf was killed at the couple’s home in Carlisle while their two children, aged five and two, slept.
Prosecutor Nicholas Cogin said Seedat had contemplated the murder weeks earlier, searching online for terms including “burying a cat” and “cremating a body”, then days before her death looked up burying someone alive.
“He had been planning to kill his wife for some weeks,” the prosecutor said.
After his wife’s death, Seedat repeatedly lied to explain Ms Yusuf’s absence, telling neighbours she had gone to the UK for eye surgery and telling her sister she had left him.
Seedat even asked a friend to call Ms Yusuf’s interstate father and impersonate a police officer.
Ms Yusuf was reported missing four days after her death and police made the grim discovery the following day.
She had been buried in a hole made by a contractor who was told it was to install a pool for the children, the court heard.
Ms Yusuf’s cause of death remains unknown but she had bruising and lacerations to her scalp, which Seedat told police he inflicted with a tyre lever. He later said he strangled Ms Yusuf.
She had sand in her mouth, but not in her airways.
Mr Cogin said she died as a result of Seedat’s “brutal and sustained actions” but it was not known whether she was still alive when she was buried.
He said there was no evidence Ms Yusuf was intending to leave her husband, rather it was Seedat who had become uninterested.
Mr Cogin said Seedat had intended to try to pursue a relationship with his sister-in-law, as evidenced in the tone of his text messages to her, although she viewed him as a brother according to her victim impact statement.
Seedat had also searched online: “Can you marry brother-in-law if sister dead, muslim?”
Defence counsel Bernard Standish conceded the murder was premeditated and said his client was ashamed.
“There is not a day that goes by that he does not think about what he has done,” he said.
The children now live interstate with Ms Yusuf’s parents and do no not know what happened to their mother.
The court heard Seedat was also facing fraud charges, with allegations he stole $5.7 million.
Justice Bruno Fiannaca will sentence Seedat for murder on May 27.