Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

CCTV footage shows murder accused buying claw hammer

Nicolson Street
Image caption Randa Kamblawi's body was found in their home in Nicolson Street

A husband seen on CCTV, buying a claw hammer, thought to have been used to kill his wife, is "damning" evidence, a court has heard.

In a prosecution speech, a jury has been told there was "clear evidence" Yahya Babiker killed his wife Randa Kamblawi in Edinburgh last October.

Mr Babiker, 45, denies murdering her at their home in Edinburgh's Nicolson Street.

He claims she slipped and hit her head on the taps twice on 20 October 2009.

In his closing speech, Advocate Depute Pino di Emidio told the High Court in Perth that the evidence showed Mr Babiker had murdered his wife with a claw hammer which had been bought in Homebase only hours earlier.

He said CCTV footage in Homebase showed Mr Babiker weighing up a crowbar before choosing a £3.99 claw hammer from the Homebase Value range.

Mr di Emidio said further CCTV footage showed Mr Babiker returning to the flat a short time later before leaving with the couple's children in the early hours of the following morning.

He was also seen taking money from a bank and getting a taxi to Edinburgh Airport.

He said: "The Crown says it is a very damning piece of evidence. You have seen the murder weapon being selected. It might be thought to be an unforgettable piece of evidence."

The trial heard how the 34-year-old mother-of-two's body was found wrapped up in bedding in a bath at her home in Nicolson Street, Edinburgh.

"It is the Crown's position that Yahya Babiker took Randa Kamblawi's body into the bathroom and dumped her body in the bath," Mr Di Emidio said.

"He also dumped the bedding from the master bedroom on top of the deceased.

"We know Yahya Babiker did not seek any help from emergency services when his wife suffered these injuries.

"He has attempted to clean up."

Mr di Emidio added: "The accused's description of two alleged falls in the bath cannot explain injuries one, two, three, four and five.

"The more likely scenario is that all five injuries were caused by the accused using the hammer in the master bedroom."

Medical evidence

Defence counsel, Bert Kerrigan QC, asked the jury to consider returning either a not proven or culpable homicide verdict instead of finding Mr Babiker guilty of murder.

He said the evidence the Crown Office presented relating to the claw hammer was not enough for the jury to convict his client of murder.

"There is no doubt that he bought a hammer. There seems to be no doubt from the medical evidence that an object similar to a hammer was used, once or more than once," Mr Kerrigan said.

"Something went wrong that night. He didn't call for assistance. He didn't admit what had happened. There is a huge dilemma in this case for a jury.

"In my submission, the evidence does not justify the inference the Crown seeks to draw from the purchase of the hammer on the afternoon."

Lady Stacey told the jury she would send them out to consider their verdict on Tuesday after she completed her address.

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