An accountant who murdered his wife as their children slept then buried her in their backyard with the misguided hope of pursuing a relationship with her sister will spend at least 23 years in a West Australian prison.
Ahmed Dawood Seedat, 37, pleaded guilty to murdering 32-year-old Fahima Yusuf at their Carlisle home on August 31, 2018.
He was sentenced in the West Australian Supreme Court on Monday to life behind bars, with Justice Bruno Fiannaca describing the killing as brutal, callous and cowardly.
He said Seedat planned the murder for weeks and had egotistical motives.
Justice Fiannaca said Seedat had earlier searched online for chilling terms such as “cremating a body”, “best place to knock someone out” and burying someone alive.
He said Seedat struck his wife of eight years with a wheel brace as she slept.
Ms Yusuf woke up after the first blow but was vulnerable and easily overpowered by him as he continued his attack, Justice Fiannaca said.
Seedat then choked or suffocated Ms Yusuf and buried her in a hole that had been made by a contractor who was told it was to install a pool for his children, aged two and five.
Seedat claimed her final words were that she loved him, but Justice Fiannaca said that only demonstrated her horror and desperation to stop him from killing her, and the betrayal she felt.
Ms Yusuf’s cause of death remains undetermined but Justice Fiannaca said she suffered lacerations to her head and body, and had sand in her mouth but not in her airways.
After Ms Yusuf’s death, Seedat lied to explain her absence, telling friends and neighbours she had gone to the UK for eye surgery and telling her sister she had left him.
Ms Yusuf was reported missing four days after her death and police found her body the following day.
Seedat had intended to try to pursue a relationship with his sister-in-law, who he described as his best friend, but she viewed him as a brother.
“You envisaged a future with your sister-in-law … you had become emotionally dependent on her,” Justice Fiannaca said.
Seedat had also searched online: “Can you marry your brother-in-law if your sister is dead muslim?”
Justice Fiannaca said Seedat had deprived his children of both their parents, but accepted he was remorseful.
Seedat is separately facing fraud charges, with allegations he stole $5.7 million.