A man has denied murdering his pregnant wife by pushing her off Edinburgh landmark Arthur’s Seat.
Kashif Anwar stands accused of behaving in a threatening and abusive way towards his wife Fawziyah Javed on September 1, 2021 at a hotel in the Scottish capital, and then of murdering her the next day by pushing her from the hill in Holyrood Park, causing her multiple blunt force injuries.
The High Court in Edinburgh was told this caused the death of the 31-year-old, from Pudsey, Leeds, and that of her unborn child.
Anwar, 29, appeared in the dock for the first day of his trial on Wednesday, where his defence solicitor Brian Gilfedder told the jury his client denies both the charges against him.
The jury was told the Crown case, led by advocate depute Alex Prentice KC, will lead with evidence which includes allegations that Anwar had knocked his wife unconscious in a cemetery in Pudsey between March 11 and March 14, 2021.
The court heard he seized her on the body, struggled with her, and caused her to fall to the ground, then struck her on her head when she was rendered unconscious.
The prosecution said the defendant, who appeared in court with a shaved head and wearing a blue polo-shirt, had on March 12, 2021 withdrawn £12,000 from his wife’s bank account and put it into his own account without her consent.
Among the 12 points read out in court on the prosecution’s case, the jury was told that in Galloway Lane, Pudsey, Anwar is said to have put a pillow over his wife’s face, restricting her breathing, and repeatedly punched her on her head. This is alleged to have happened between March 11 and 14, 2021.
The court was also told of a claim that between April 29 and May 1 2021, Anwar made threats that he would “ruin her life should she end the relationship”.
Their relationship began in August 2019, the jury was told in a joint minute of agreed facts, and by July 2020 they had become engaged. They married in December that year.
On August 31, 2021 they had checked into Edinburgh’s Residence Inn by Marriott, in Simpson Loan, where they stayed in room 108. They had been set to check-out on September 4.
Ms Javed died on September 2, and a post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death to be complications of multiple injuries cased by a fall from height.
The charge against Anwar states that on September 1, 2021 at the Residence Inn, he did behave in a threatening or abusive manner which was likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear of alarm and that he did repeatedly shout at his wife.
He is also accused of on September 2, at Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park, assaulting his then pregnant wife, and pushing her from a height and causing her to fall, whereby she sustained multiple blunt force trauma injuries and was so severely injured she died there and that he therefore murdered her.
The second charge added he caused the death of the unborn child, and that he did previously evince malice and ill-will towards her.
After the jury of 15 men and women were sworn in, trial judge Lord Beckett warned them: “From this moment until the end of the trial you must not make any outside investigations or inquiries of your own about this case, the people involved in it, the places it is said to have taken place, or any issues it raises.”
Lord Beckett told them the trial is expected to continue until April 14 but said he would schedule the case until April 19 in case further time is required.
The trial continues.