Man claimed wife 'fell off Arthur's Seat after selfie attempt'

Kashif Anwar, 29, is accused of murdering his pregnant wife Fawziyah Javed, 31, by pushing her off the Edinburgh hill.

Man claimed wife fell off Arthur’s Seat after selfie attempt went wrong, Edinburgh trial told PA Media

A firefighter sent to rescue an injured pregnant woman from Arthur’s Seat was told by a man she slipped as he bumped into her trying to get a selfie, a murder trial has been told.

Kashif Anwar, 29, is accused of murdering Fawziyah Javed, 31, in September 2021 by pushing her off the Edinburgh hill, causing her multiple blunt force injuries and ultimately her death and that of her unborn child.

Anwar, from Leeds, denies all the charges against him, including one of acting in a threatening and abusive way towards his wife at a hotel in Edinburgh the day before the alleged murder.

Firefighter Sean Stratford, who gave evidence to the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, was one of the emergency responders dispatched to the scene just after 9pm.

He told the trial that rescue crews could not find Ms Javed when they arrived but a man approached them to assist and pointed out the area.

The firefighter said he could not remember if the man identified himself as the injured woman’s husband or not.

Mr Stratford told the court: “He said that he stood up to take a selfie, he slipped and bumped her and she had fallen.”

“She was not in a very good state at all,” the firefighter said, and told the court she had been slipping in and out of consciousness on the hillside until emergency responders had to start resuscitation.

Flowers and candles were placed at a vigil in memory of Fawziyah Javed.PA Media

Mr Stratford, who is in his 13th year working at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said the man seemed to be “calm” as he spoke with him at the scene.

Questioned by advocate depute Alex Prentice if there was any reference to a selfie being taken in the call played to court, Mr Stratford said there was not.

Also speaking on Monday, police constable Sean Henderson told the court of Anwar’s response to the news that his wife had died: “There wasn’t much of a reaction, in my opinion, he didn’t say much to it and didn’t have any obvious physical reaction.”

After being told of his wife’s death, he told Pc Henderson: “I know how this looks. We had our problems as a couple, but…”

The court was told Anwar never finished what he was saying as more officers entered the room and he was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Pc Henderson told the trial, which is in its fourth day: “From start to near finish he was very calm and composed throughout.

“I was actually struck how calm his demeanour was throughout.”

Ian Duguid KC, defending Anwar, played the court a 999 recording on which his client could be heard shouting down to people who had got to where his wife was, asking how she was to relay back to the ambulance service.

Pc Henderson said during the call there were parts where he was calm but other parts where he was more animated.

Mr Duguid put it to Pc Henderson that Anwar’s behaviour could have been explained because his client was confident his wife was alive, and that Anwar had not been told about his wife’s death until later after.

But Pc Henderson said Anwar overheard the loud fire service radio on the hillside, which described her worsening condition.

On Monday, the fourth day of the trial, the court also heard from Claire Pentony, 33, who had been on the hill at the time of the alleged incident.

She told Mr Prentice: “I heard what sounded like rocks falling and a woman scream and say help at the same time.

“I know the area fairly well, I presumed somebody who didn’t had perhaps fallen or had an accident.”

She said she shouted she would get help, and phoned 999.

She told the court a few minutes after the cry for help she heard a name being shouted.

Earlier on Monday, Nicola Lilly, 44, gave evidence about an incident in Pudsey, Leeds, on August 26 2021.

Appearing remotely from the West Yorkshire city, she and the jury were shown security camera footage of two people in which it appeared as if a man was blocking the path of Ms Javed.

Ms Lilly told the trial: “I just knew something wasn’t right. She was just trying to get away from him and (he) was being, sort of, aggressive towards her.”

The witness told the trial she saw the alleged murder victim being “pulled about”, and that she had become concerned for her.

She later found Ms Javed speaking to another woman, and Ms Lilly gave Ms Javed her telephone number.

The court was told that Ms Javed appeared “very upset and frightened”, and identified the man to Ms Lilly as her husband.

Ms Lilly said a car came past and Ms Javed said: “It’s my father-in-law.”

The witness continued: “She got really scared, then she said, ‘Please tell them what he’s just been like with me, they won’t believe me’.”

Ms Javed eventually got into the car, the court was told, and Ms Lilly decided to follow the vehicle which went to Galloway Lane, Pudsey, where Ms Javed lived.

The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.

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