Neighbour saw 'body' carried to car boot outside Leeds house - murder trial told

A NEIGHBOUR saw a man and a woman carrying what appeared to a body out of a house and put it in the boot of a car, a Leeds Crown Court murder trial jury was told

Sinead Wooding
Sinead Wooding

Akshar Ali, 27, and his friend Yasmin Ahmed, 27, are standing trial accused of murdering Ali's 26-year-old wife Sinead Wooding at Ahmed's home on Reginald Mount, Potternewton between May 10 and May 15.

The court has heard has heard mother-of-four Miss Wooding suspected her husband and Yasmin Ahmed had been involved in a sexual relationship, but both denied having an affair.

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Miss Wooding had been stabbed several times and struck repeatedly about the head. A Home Office pathologist concluded several skull fractures were caused by at least one claw hammer.

Prosecutors claim Miss Wooding's body was stored in a cellar at the house for two days before being taken to woodland in the Adel area of north Leeds on Sunday May 14 and burned.

Opening the prosecution case, Nicholas Campbell QC told the jury that in the early hours of Sunday May 14 student Lydia Gunning, a neighbour on Reginald Mount, was woken by the sound of car doors being opened and closed in the street outside her bedroom window.

Mr Campbell said she looked out of the window and saw a Golf car parked up and a man stood behind the open boot who put down the rear seats before walking away.

Mr Cambell said Miss Gunning looked out of her window again ten minutes later and saw a man and a woman, who she thought was of similar appearance to her neighbour Yasmin Ahmed.

The jury was told Miss Gunning saw the Golf being reversed and parked outside the back gate to Yasmin Ahmed's home at number 3 Reginald Mount.

Mr Campbell said: "About five minutes after that she saw the same two people coming out of the back entrance of number three.

"They were carrying what looked to her like a body. Each was carrying their own end of the body and both were struggling to do it.

"The body appeared to Miss Gunning to have been wrapped in a sheet or maybe some carpet. She saw them carry the body out of the yard and place it into the boot of the Golf.

"The boot was then shut. The woman got into the driver's seat and the man into the front passenger seat."

Mr Campbell said earlier that night Yasmin Ahmed had driven the Golf with Akshar Ali as passenger to Stairfoot Lane in Adel.

Mr Campbell said: "The prosecution case is that Akshar Ali and Yashin Ahmed were going to that area to choose the spot where the body of Sinead Wooding was to be taken and destroyed."

Mr Campbell said a blood stain on the cellar floor along with numerous blood spots on walls matched Miss Wooding’s DNA.

The jury has heard Sinead Wooding thought Yasmin Ahmed might be having an affair with her husband Akshar Ali, but both denied there was a sexual relationship when interviewed by police.

The jury was told tha cannabis drew Yasmin and Ahmed and Akshar Ali together. The court heard police found cannabis plants growing in the attic at Ahmed's home during the murder enquiry.

The court has heard Miss Wooding and Ali, who lived at Scott Hall Road, Potternewton, had argued after drinking during a party at the house on Thursday May 11.

The jury was told Miss Wooding had started to convert to the Islamic faith and changed her name to Zakirah before she met Akshar Ali, who worked on a food stall at Leeds indoor market.

The court heard the couple signed a marriage contract after an Islamic Nikah ceremony in February 2015.

Mr Campbell said it was a “volatile” and sometimes violent relationship and that Miss Wooding had continued to visit a female friend and her family after he had “forbidden” her from visiting.

Akshar Ali, of Kings Road, Hyde Park, and Yasmin Ahmed both deny murder.

Ali’s 45-year-old mother Aktahr Bi, of Kings Road, Hyde Park, denies assisting an offender by making arrangements to dispose of Sinead Wooding’s corpse.

Ali’s 21-year-old brother Asim Ali, of Kings Road, Hyde Park, denies assisting an offender by procuring a vehicle and assisting in the disposal and burning of her body.

Yasmin Ahmed’s friend Vicky Briggs aged 25, of Throstle Road, Middleton, denies assisting an offender by helping clean up and burn material after the murder.