An Adelaide court has heard a family accused of trying to kill a young Muslim woman in an “attempted honor killing” tried to track her down days earlier, breaking into a house and assaulting someone else in the process.
- Five members of the woman’s family have been charged with her attempted murder
- The 21-year-old wasly allegedly stabbed in the abdomen several times with a large kitchen knife
- The court heard the family had been trying to track her down in the days before
Five members of the woman’s family – including her father, mother, sister and brother — have been charged with the attempted murder and false imprisonment of the 21-year-old, who was allegedly stabbed in the abdomen several times with a large kitchen knife at the Sefton Plaza Shopping Center car park in November.
The alleged victim suffered a perforated kidney, lacerated liver and significant internal bleeding.
Her 29-year-old sister asked the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday to vary her home-detention bail so she could communicate with her husband, who is in custody over the alleged offending.
In opposing the application, prosecutor Tali Costi told the court the alleged victim’s sister had been involved in the plan with her family to stab her younger sister and it was a condition of her bail that she had no contact with any of the co-accused.
“Over the course of a number of days, the family members of the victim became aware of her entering into a relationship with a man of a different faith,” Ms Costi told the court.
“In the lead-up to the attempted murder charge there was concerted efforts by different family members to locate her.”
Ms Costi told the court that two men had been charged with trespassing and assaulting someone while trying to locate the alleged victim.
“[It] was a mistaken belief by them that their sister might be in the house and it’s alleged that they forced entry and assaulted the occupant of the house in an attempt to locate her,” she said.
“On the day of the alleged attempted murder, the victim arranged to meet her mother. Her mother has then communicated with other family members.
“And the phone records indicate that the mother has communicated with this applicant, and this applicant has communicated then with another accused, leading to all five accused of the attempted murder being at the car park at the relevant meeting time, confronting the victim.
The court heard members of the family then drove the alleged victim back to the family home, put her in the shower under running water and failed to seek any medical assistance.
Ms Tali told the court police arrived at the house a short time later because bystanders had reported the attack alleged to police.
“There are very serious allegations about the family members working together to locate the complainant and carry out this offence,” she said.
“It’s on that basis that the application to vary (bail) is opposed.”
Alleged victim had started relationship with man of different faith, court hears
The court previously heard the alleged victim had an arranged marriage to her cousin at the age of 17 but she had started a relationship with a man of a different faith and the alleged crime could appropriately be described as “an attempted honor killing”.
But the woman’s lawyer, Aaron Almeida, told the court his client wanted to be able to communicate with her husband of four years, who was in custody, via telephone.
“It’s understandably distressing not being able to check on each other’s wellbeing,” Mr Almeida told the court.
“The calls to prison are monitored and are readily monitored and can be monitored for any mischievous purpose that may be alleged.”
Mr Almeida told the court his client had been compliant with her bail conditions and if she had wanted to make contact with the alleged victim, she would have already done so.
“Had there been a sinister motive or purpose to make contact with the alleged victim, that could readily have been done with her mum, who is also on bail,” he told the court.
Magistrate Roderick Jensen refused the application to vary bail, saying communication between the husband and wife could “frustrate the prosecution case” and there was evidence of “prior communication” which was relevant to the alleged offending.
Another relative accused of breaking into and assaulting another person days before the alleged attempted murder also applied for a variation to his bail.
His lawyer, Craig Caldicott, asked the court to order a home-detention compliance report in the hope his client would be granted greater “freedom of movement” with monitoring for work purposes.
The matter returns to court in June.
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