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The Smethwick murder suspect bought his wife a wedding dress the day before her death

The case was heard in the Birmingham Crown Court

Ameen Thabet, 50, of Smethwick, bought the item from an online Muslim clothing website on March 22 last year, QC defense attorney David Walbank said.

The following day, Thabet allegedly suffocated Najeeba Al-Ariqy, 47, in her home on Sutton Road, Aston, Birmingham.

Before her death, the couple were planning a wedding ceremony and two-week honeymoon in Turkey, the Birmingham Crown Court said.

Thabet took the stand to answer questions from Mr. Walbank about his relationship with Ms. Al-Ariqy.

Mr. Walbank asked, “On March 22nd, did you make a purchase on the Muslim online shopping website Modanisa?”

The defendant replied, “It was the purchase of the dress that she chose.”

The jury was told that the couple were to get married on April 4, have a party on April 10 and have a two-week honeymoon in Turkey.

Text messages between the two were read out, calling each other “fiancés” and saying they were “making love”. They had previously married in 2019.

The court heard that Thabet had a problem with his shoulder and visited Birmingham City Hospital for an examination two days before she died.

Mr. Walbank approached his client and said, “You know the prosecutor’s case is that you arm-locked them and throttled them. Were you able to do that?”

He replied, “Not at all.”

He also denied learning from Ms. Al-Ariqy the morning before her death that she was going to marry another Bahraini man.

When asked whether Ms. Al-Ariqy had told him anything that caused him to murder her that day, Thabet replied during a 45-minute phone call on the morning of March 23rd last year: “No.”

He said he visited her home around noon, hours before she stopped responding on the floor and was taken care of by emergency services.

During that previous visit, he denied prosecutor’s allegations that he sent text messages between his phone and Ms. Al-Ariqy’s phone.

Thabet of West Park Road in Smethwick denies murder.

The process in the Birmingham Crown Court continues.

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