Young Mother Who Converted to Islam Murdered in Hammer Attack After Going Back to Western Lifestyle

West Yorkshire Police

A young mother who converted to Islam was brutally murdered by her husband, who barred her from seeing family and friends after she started wearing Western-style clothes again, a British court has heard.

Akshar Ali hit Sinead Wooding with a hammer and stabbed her repeatedly, before dumping in the woods and then torching the mother-of-four’s body, Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC told Leeds Crown Court.

Ms Wooding was in the process of converting to Islam and changed her name to Zakirah when she met Mr Ali, 27, who worked on a food stall at Leeds indoor market, according to the Times.

The pair were married at an Islamic ceremony in early 2015, but the jury heard their relationship was “volatile” and violent at times, with arguments over 26-year-old Wooding continued visits to family and friends her husband had “forbidden” her from seeing.

Mr Campbell said Ms Wooding had started wearing Western clothing days before she was killed on May 11 at a party held at the house of her husband’s friend Yasmin Ahmed, who along with Mr Ali, denies murder.

After the couple had an argument, guests heard a bang from the kitchen, at which point Ms Ahmed went to check on them.

She returned, and said Ms Wooding had stumbled into a door but that everything was fine, and a short time afterwards reported to guests that the young mother had left the house.

“In fact Sinead Wooding never left that property alive,” Mr Campbell said, telling the court she was first incapacitated  — suffering a fractured skull after repeated blows to the head with a claw hammer  — and then killed later on, after being “stabbed several times” with a knife.

“If she was conscious at that time of the stabbing she would have been prevented from crying out,” Mr Campbell told the jury, who heard that blood found on Ms Ahmed’s cellar walls and floor was a DNA match for Ms Wooding.

“She was stabbed several times with at least one sharp bladed instrument, almost definitely a knife.”

Her body was allegedly kept in the cellar for two days, then “wrapped up [and] bound with wire” before two people were seen carrying it out at night, by a neighbour.

The burnt remains of Ms Wooding were discovered by a jogger in woods north of Leeds, on May 14, the court was told.

As the trial continues, Mr Ali’s brother, Asim, denies assisting an offender by procuring a vehicle and assisting in the disposal of Ms Wooding’s body. His mother, Aktahr Bi, denies making arrangements to dispose of the body.


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