Bus driver, 66, who battered wife, 57, to death with hammer, meat cleaver, table leg, pans and ladder is jailed for life

A BUS driver who battered his wife to death with a hammer and meat cleaver has been jailed for life today.

Hussein Egal, 66, also hit 57-year-old Maryan Ismail with a table leg, pans and ladder in a "sustained attack" during lockdown, the Old Bailey heard.

Ms Ismail's mutilated body was found covered with a blanket at her flat in Edmonton, north London, on April 6 last year.

The school cleaner had suffered 70 injuries to her body, with the most severe to her head and chest.

Egal told police she had threatened to throw him out for having Covid-19.

He admitted carrying out the killing, but denied murder.


An Old Bailey jury rejected his defence of diminished responsibility and found him guilty of murder.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC caged Egal for life with a minimum term of 22 years, and told the court Ms Ismail had suffered a "sustained and vicious attack".

He said: "Quite what your motivation for this attack was, only you will really know.

"In the period immediately before the attack, and in the period that followed, you largely carried on with your life.

Your actions show that you had little if any remorse immediately after the events

"Your actions show that you had little if any remorse immediately after the events – your thoughts then were entirely about yourself and not Maryan."

He said tests had shown Ms Ismail did not have Covid and the defendant had refused to be tested.

However, despite his claim that he had the virus in March last year and was not working, records showed he was working up to and including March 27.

The judge also highlighted a psychiatric report which found Egal was not suffering a major mental disorder.

He added: "It seems to me that, on all the evidence here, you were someone in the middle of an intense rage at the moment of the killing and for whatever reason were intent on killing your wife."

The victim was described by a close friend as a "kind and calm person with a good heart".

Her son, who lives in Holland, was unable to attend his mother's funeral.

Judge Lucraft said: "One can only imagine the impact of losing a mother in these circumstances."


Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – messageinfo@supportline.org.uk.

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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