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Bus driver who said Covid ‘made him crazy and kill his wife’ is jailed for 22 years

A bus driver who said Covid-19 ‘made him crazy and kill his wife’ during the first lockdown was jailed today for at least 22 years. 

Hussein Egal, 66, beat Maryan Ismail to death in the midst of an ‘intense rage’ with a hammer, meat cleaver, table leg, pots and pans and ladder.

The 57-year-old’s mutilated body was found covered with a blanket at her flat in Edmonton, north London, on April 6 last year.

The school cleaner had suffered 70 injuries to her body, with the most severe to her head and chest. 

Despite refusing to be tested for the virus, Egal told police his wife had threatened to throw him out for having Covid-19, the court heard.

Jurors were previously told that Egal, who admitted carrying out the killing but denied it was murder, believed ‘coronavirus made him crazy and kill his wife’.

Hussein Egal (pictured above), 66, beat Maryan Ismail, 57, to death in the midst of an 'intense rage'

Hussein Egal (pictured above), 66, beat Maryan Ismail, 57, to death in the midst of an 'intense rage'

The school cleaner (pictured above, in a handout photo issued by the Met Police) had suffered 70 injuries to her body

The school cleaner (pictured above, in a handout photo issued by the Met Police) had suffered 70 injuries to her body

Hussein Egal (pictured left), 66, beat Maryan Ismail (right), 57, to death in the midst of an ‘intense rage’ with a hammer, meat cleaver, table leg, pots and pans and ladder last year

An Old Bailey jury rejected his defence of diminished responsibility and found him guilty of murder after deliberating for two hours.

On Friday, Judge Mark Lucraft QC jailed Egal for life with a minimum term of 22 years. He said Ms Ismail had suffered a ‘sustained and vicious attack’.

On Egal’s Covid-19 claims, he said tests had shown Ms Ismail did not have the virus and the defendant had refused to be tested.

However, despite his claim that he had the virus in March last year and was not working, records showed he was working up to and including March 27.

The judge said: ‘Quite what your motivation for this attack was, only you will really know. In the period immediately before the attack, and in the period that followed, you largely carried on with your life.

‘Your actions show that you had little if any remorse immediately after the events – your thoughts then were entirely about yourself and not Maryan.’ 

The judge also highlighted a psychiatric report which found Egal was not suffering a major mental disorder.

He added: ‘It seems to me that, on all the evidence here, you were someone in the middle of an intense rage at the moment of the killing and for whatever reason were intent on killing your wife.’ 

Jurors were previously told that Egal, above, who admitted carrying out the killing but denied it was murder, believed 'coronavirus made him crazy and kill his wife'

Jurors were previously told that Egal, above, who admitted carrying out the killing but denied it was murder, believed 'coronavirus made him crazy and kill his wife'

Jurors were previously told that Egal, above, who admitted carrying out the killing but denied it was murder, believed ‘coronavirus made him crazy and kill his wife’

The court previously heard that prior to the argument Egal had been displaying symptoms of Covid-19, namely coughing, vomiting, hallucinating and a high temperature. 

Allison Hunter, QC, prosecuting, had told jurors: ‘Hussein Yusuf Egal was taken to Wood Green Police Station. Upon his arrival Egal told the officer who opened the van door that he had coronavirus and that the officer should stay away from him.

‘He said it was the coronavirus that had made him crazy and kill his wife. He said that when he told his wife she said he could get out and die on the street and that he had said to her “I will kill you before that” and so he did.’

The victim was described by a close friend as a ‘kind and calm person with a good heart’. Her son, who lives in Holland, was unable to attend his mother’s funeral.

Judge Lucraft said: ‘One can only imagine the impact of losing a mother in these circumstances.’

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