Ethiopian man killed wife then took own life – By Charles Heslett

January 20th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

A DESPERATE husband strangled his wife, fearing she was going to take their daughter to London and then hanged himself.


A DESPERATE husband strangled his wife, fearing she was going to take their daughter to London and then hanged himself.

Getu Asefaw was found dangling from a washing line in the hallway of his Leeds home by his ten-year-old daughter, an inquest heard.

Moments earlier the girl had discovered her mother Hana Tadesse’s body lying on the floor in an upstairs bedroom with a pillow over her face and an empty bottle of Fairy washing-up liquid by her side.

Geelila used her mother’s mobile phone to call neighbour Janice Carr whose partner raised the alarm, Leeds Coroner’s Court was told on Tuesday.

Uniformed police officers had to break down the front door down of the three floor flat in Waverley Garth, Beeston, just after 8am on Sunday, March 16, last year

The door was the only way in and was locked from the inside with the key still in the lock and the security chain on.

They found the hanging body of Ethiopian-born Mr Asefaw who had a Dutch passport and came to Leeds to find work four years ago.

Home Office Pathologist Dr Alfredo Walker said the sandwich shop worker died from hanging after tying a pink nylon cord around his neck and attaching it to the balustrade.

A post-mortem examination revealed the 28-year-old had swallowed paracetamol and then drunk two bottles of washing-up liquid.

In a second-floor bedroom the officers found Mrs Tadesse, 28, also from Ethiopia.

The care worker had 32 separate injuries, a post-mortem examination revealed, including bruises caused by fingertips around her neck and bruises caused by blows to her head.

Cause of death was by strangulation, or a combination with smothering, Dr Walker said.

Det Sgt Paul Womersley, of the West Yorkshire Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said Geelila told officers at the scene that her father had killed her mother because he feared she was going to leave him and take their daughter to live in London.

She had been emailing friends on a computer in the house and had made a previous visit to London with Geelila to sort out somewhere to live which led to arguments.

Coroner David Hincliff said: “In the course of an argument Getu has caused the death of his wife, probably by strangulation and possibly a pillow.

“By virtue of what has happened he has ended his life by self-suspension. He had known he would have been facing a murder charge.”

He recorded Mrs Tadesse was unlawfully killed and that Mr Asefaw killed himself.

One of Mrs Tadesse’s brothers, Dawit Tadesse, 38, who had come from Holland to be at the inquest declined to comment.

Earlier Mr Asefaw’s friend Ghebreliwet Tecleab said what happened had shocked everyone in the Leeds churches which the couple used to attend.

The daughter is believed to being cared for by Leeds Social Services.

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