UK & World News
Mother 'Was Murdered For Becoming Westernised'
A mother of three from Manchester was murdered by her violent husband and his brother because she was "establishing an independent life" and becoming "westernised", a court has heard.
Rania Alayed, 25, from Cheetham Hill in Manchester, was lured to her death at a flat in Salford in June 2013, jurors were told. Her body has never been found.
Ahmed Al Khatib has admitted causing the death of his wife.
Tony Cross QC told the trial "he has told psychiatrists who have examined him that he did so by pushing her, causing her to stumble, fall and bang her head from which she died.
"He denies any intention to kill her. He says at the time he was suffering from an abnormality of mind; that he was possessed of a spirit which caused him to do what he did."
The court heard Ms Alayed was born in Syria and met her husband when she was 15.
The couple fled the Middle East, eventually moving to England.
They had three children but eventually Ms Alayed left the unhappy marriage which had been marred by violence from her husband.
She contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau, the police and a solicitor.
Mr Cross told the jury: "She began to become a little westernised. She went to college and had friends; male and female. This was all too much for the first two defendants.
"The family of the defendants were insulted by her recourse to law. They wanted her and her children back within the family fold.
"It was obvious to them, and to him in particular, she was not going to comply with their wishes. They believed that she was establishing an independent life perhaps with another man.
"Therefore it was decided that she should either be coerced to comply or be killed."
The court heard that on June 7, 2013 Ms Alayed was lured to the flat in Salford of her brother-in-law, Muhaned Al Khatib, where her husband was waiting.
Within an hour she was dead.
With the help of a third man, Hussain Al Khatib, the pair then disposed of her body many miles away in North Yorkshire and then pretended to friends and family that she was still alive, jurors were told.
Ahmed Al Khatib and Muhaned Al Khatib deny murder. Hussain Al Khatib denies perverting the course of justice. The trial continues.