Preston man denies murdering his wife with hammer
A husband has denied bludgeoning his wife to death at their home with a hammer, two weeks after celebrating their daughter's wedding.
Jamal Khan, 52, is accused of killing Humera Khan, 42, at their home in Chatsworth Street, Fishwick, Preston, on February 15.
Khan rang 999 and operators tried to give their son instructions to help stem bleeding, but she died later at Royal Preston Hospital. The ex-security worker denies murder and is on trial at the city’s crown court.
Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour told jurors Humera had suffered catastrophic fractures to her skull.
The court also heard evidence from newlywed daughter Ayesha that the couple argued frequently about debt.
But she added: “It was wedding week and mum was very happy, we’d planned everything, we’d bought the wedding dress and even on the day they were happy.”
Miss Khan, who came to the UK from Pakistan with her parents aged five, began to cry as she read her oath in the witness stand.
She said: “I can’t remember seeing my father before then (the incident), but had spoken to him over the phone. I saw my mum two days prior.
“She had told me they had an argument. It wasn’t an argument between them directly, it was more about my father’s brother.
Prosecuting, Martin Reid asked: “In general terms can you tell us about the relationship between your parents?”
She replied: “Any couple argues in a household, nothing is a perfect relationship and every household has their ups and downs. It was normal for us.
“It was more shouting, arguing. just throwing objects around but that was all that I had seen from a really early age.
“Since I remember we’ve always had money problems, they had taken loans out and not been able to make ends meet. My father was earning money but not knowing where it was going as it all had to pay off the interest on loans.
“My father did security jobs for seven or eight years. My mum took up a full-time job three years ago and that’s when they thought they could together help pay off the debts which still caused problems in the house.”
She described how police had been called during one argument in which her mum’s laptop got smashed.
She added: “It was both sides. At one point I just got really tired of everything and I didn’t want to know so I stayed in my bedroom.
“I would laugh at them and call them childish because I knew no matter how much they argued on that day, they would always make up. It always settled down.
She then told jurors how she and her mum ended up in a women’s refuge in Leyland after her father had taken her passport while they were attending a family wedding in Islamabad - a trip that was supposed to be 10 days long but ended up being over a month.
Although it was supposed to be just her and her mother, her father unexpectedly flew out to join them.
She was assisted to return home by the British High Commission in Pakistan.
She said: “Before I even left for Pakistan my mother had said I needed to learn my culture – they thought I was quite Westernised.
“When I’d gone there I thought my mother had done it just to keep me in the country, but my father just said the same things as her – you can settle here, learn the culture. learn the language, there’s universities here.
“Because I was in the middle of studying that did not sound right for me at the time. I made a fuss. I disagreed. he was calm. He didn’t force me to do anything and said OK we’ll stay for a little while.”
But he then flew back to the UK with their passports.
When Humera and her daughter were assisted home they went to stay in a refuge and only returned home when Khan apologised.
She told jurors the couple’s relationship continued as it was before, but said in the run up to her wedding everybody was happy.
Ayesah added: “I didn’t see any signs anything was happening.”