An Iranian refugee who stole a pair of scissors and stabbed his estranged wife 56 times told police he ‘could not tolerate’ her decision to walk away from their marriage.
‘I stabbed her’ in her heart, and in her neck, because she did not obey the rule of marriage,’ Mokhtar Hosseiniamraei told police in Sydney after her murder.
‘When we marry we have a commitment, moral commitment towards one another. In this country this means nothing.’
Hairdresser Leila Alavi was just 26 when she was killed in an underground car park in Sydney’s west in January 2015.
Hosseiniamraei, a refugee who fled Iran because of religious persecution, met his bride in Turkey and travelled with her to Australia in 2010.
By late 2014 the relationship had broken down and Hosseiniamraei was abusing drugs daily,Ms Alavi had taken out an AVO against him after he threatened to kill her.
Fewer than three months later Hosseiniamraei went to her workplace in Auburn and demanded she met him at her car
There, inside her Holden Astra, she was stabbed 22 times in the head and neck, 27 times in the legs and torso and seven times in the shoulder and arms, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
‘This was an anger that simmered,’ Crown prosecutor Craig Everson told a NSW Supreme Court sentencing hearing on Thursday.
‘It was to do, essentially, with her not meeting his expectations as to what a wife should do.’
Ms Alavi’s sister Mitra said in her victim impact statement that the two of them had emigrated for a better life.
‘I saw that she was abused both physically and psychologically by him. I believe this man was cruel and dangerous,’ the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Defence barrister Craig Smith SC urged Justice Robert Allan Hulme to find that Hosseiniamraei had ‘reasonable prospects’ of rehabilitation and that he only formed an intention to kill Ms Alavi a short time before the murder.
‘He was still affected by a mental condition, by the breakdown of the relationship, by the relative lack of certainty as to where he was living,’ Mr Smith said, adding that Hosseiniamraei had been sleeping rough in what he described as a ‘jungle’ after leaving the marital home.
This was a reference to bushland surrounding Parramatta Lake, in the city’s west, although the court heard Hosseiniamraei’s relatives had opened their homes to him.
Justice Hulme will sentence Hosseiniamraei next Thursday.