A man accused of murdering his pregnant wife by pushing her off Arthur’s Seat was eager to visit the Edinburgh landmark during his time in the Scottish capital, a court has heard.
Kashif Anwar, 29, is accused of murdering Fawziyah Javed, 31, in September 2021 by pushing her from the hill, causing her multiple blunt force injuries and ultimately her death and that of her unborn child.
Anwar 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.
Lubna Qasim, who gave evidence on Friday on the third day of the trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, said she was told by her friend Ms Javed that Anwar was “really keen on visiting Arthur’s Seat” when they were talking at a Walima – a Muslim marriage celebration event – held for the couple on August 30, 2021.
But Ms Qasim, 33, said Ms Javed, from Pudsey in Leeds, had looked her straight in the eyes and replied: “I’m not so sure.”
Ms Qasim told the court her friend was scared of heights, and this fear came to her attention when they visited Barcelona’s cable car together.
Describing Ms Javed as “caring, generous and kind”, Ms Qasim said that at the Walima Ms Javed’s mother Nighat Yasmin Javed had seemed “anxious and nervous and stressed”.
Ian Duguid KC, for Anwar, told the court a relative of his client had mentioned the landmark to him as a place to visit while in Edinburgh. He said Ms Javed was keen on walking in the Yorkshire Dales.
Ms Qasim said she thought Ms Javed was more interested in things like shopping than walking.
The jury was also told that Ms Javed had called the police about Anwar’s alleged behaviour, and when officers from West Yorkshire Police attended her parents’ home she gave a statement in which she detailed her claims of abuse at the hands of her husband.
Pc Gemma Smales, 34, read out the statement from Ms Javed. Towards its end, she said: “I maybe his wife but I’m not his possession.”
The document, dated April 20 2021, included claims he threatened to physically hurt Ms Javed’s family members if she ever cheated on him, of how Ms Javed said she found herself unconscious in a Pudsey graveyard, an allegation she was slapped across the face by her husband during an argument, and claims of abusive language Anwar is said to have used towards Ms Javed.
They included him allegedly calling Ms Javed a “retard” and a “bitch”, telling her to “stop behaving like a British woman”, that he would pull her mother’s “tongue out if she says I need help”, and that he would ruin Ms Javed’s life if she ended the relationship.
The court was told Anwar, who was studying optometry at the University of Bradford, met Ms Javed after a chance encounter at the Trinity shopping complex in Leeds city centre.
The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.