Husband accused of murder claims wife "insulted him"

Chatsworth Street crime scene
Chatsworth Street crime scene

A dad has denied killing his wife of 23 years with a hammer, claiming she 'stood up" as he threatened her with it, causing it to hit her.

Jamal Khan took the the witness stand at his trial before Preston Crown Court as his defence case begun.

Crown Court

Crown Court

The 52-year-old is accused of murdering Humera Khan, 42, at their home on Chatsworth Street, Fishwick, Preston, on February 15.

The mum-of-three died in hospital from severe skull fractures and brain injuries.

Khan told jurors the incident happened after he had asked her if she had prepared some food for him, to which she had replied in their native tongue: " Do it yourself Monkey."

He described it as "grievously insulting".

Defending, Gordon Stewart said: "Had she ever used those words in the past?"

He replied: "Never."

Asked what he remembered doing next, he said: "I was just stood behind her, she was in the kitchen and I was standing between the kitchen and the living room.

"I just, because I could see the handle, I just picked it up in both hands.

"I just like, tried to scare her, saying 'Do you want me to use this on you then?', and I was just like not trying to hit her or anything.

"In the meanwhile she just stood up and it hit her right on the head."

He said he could not describe his mental state and added: " The the only thing I know is I found myself sat on the floor for three or four minutes and I'm thinking I had given my whole universe. I tried to stand up and pick this hammer off her and hit my head with it, which when I tried to, I could hardly lift it."

Mr Reid said: "Do you have any recollection of how many times you struck her?"

He said: "No, I would describe it as a mixture of guilt, fear.

"I'm not the sort of person that would ever do this thing."

The barrister asked: "Did you intend to kill your wife?" to which he replied: "Never."

The court heard the family came to Preston 17 years ago.

Khan said he left Pakistan for Preston after his brother was murdered and he felt under pressure from family to take revenge.

He previously told the court he had worries about his health, immigration status and finances and was worried about the authorities finding out he had come to the UK with a false name.

In cross examination, prosecutor Martin Reid pointed out he had UK bank accounts, filed tax returns with HMRC, and his job required him to be police vetted.

He added: "Haven't you been exaggerating the concerns you had about your immigration status - they were not that severe were they?

The lawyer described how £26,000 was brought into the household from Khan's earnings from his shoe business and their wages and tax credits and said: " Your money worries were not serious enough to stop you buying three plane tickets to go to Pakistan in September 2015.

"Have you told us about these matters because you're trying to come up with some sort of excuse for your behaviour?"

Khan said: "No, this is how I am. I feel I have gone to a position which I would say is a troubled person."

Jurors also heard in 2011, Humera called police to their home after he pushed her when she accidentally spilled tea on his shirt.