Reema alive during beheading

Reema Ramzan
Reema Ramzan
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A young woman was still alive when she was beheaded with a kitchen knife by her boyfriend, a court heard.

Police discovered the body of 18-year-old Reema Ramzan in a Sheffield flat. Her head had been removed and she had been stabbed in the shoulder.

Her partner Aras Hussein, 21, had stabbed himself in the chest after the killing, stripped off his blood-stained clothes and walked naked on to the street outside his flat on Herries Road, Shirecliffe.

Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said it was likely Reema was still alive when she was decapitated.

“Bruising into the tissue at the site of the decapitation suggested that Reema was still alive as the defendant started to remove her head,” he said.

“Force may also have been needed to restrain the victim who would likely have been struggling.”

A post mortem carried out showed Reema had been stabbed in the shoulder, the shin and had injuries on her hands which were consistent with self defence.

Mr Reeds said as Hussein was being carried to an ambulance, he said to paramedics ‘I killed somebody and I need to die’ and ‘why are you helping me? I have just murdered somebody’.

Hussein denies murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Reeds told the court Hussein had ‘said different things to different people at different times’.

He said Hussein’s behaviour until the time of the killing has been ‘entirely ordinary’ but added ‘the killing was anything but ordinary’.

Hussein had been ‘controlling’ in his relationship with Reema and her family had disapproved of their friendship.

The court heard Hussein’s next-door neighbour told police he heard a woman ‘screaming for dear life’ on June 4, the day Reema was killed.

Police found Reema’s body slumped on top of her passport and discovered £1,640 in cash in her pockets.

Mr Reeds said: “Reema’s possession of cash and her passport may hint at some disagreement between them or some plan between them that never happened, but it’s likely that we will never know.

“The prosecution say Hussein’s behaviour at the time of the killing and after it is more likely to be explained by the fact that he had a propensity to violence and his controlling behaviour to Reema than as to be explained by any medical condition he may have been suffering from.”

The court heard Reema’s family had objected to her relationship with Hussein because of his age.

She had met him when she was around 16 and once ran away from home because of disagreements over him.

Her brother Sohail Ramzan, 23, said on one occasion Reema arrived home ‘crying, crying her eyes out’ following a row with her boyfriend.

“I saw red marks round her neck, loads of redness,” he said.

He said when he called Hussein he was ‘abusive and saying he would do what he wanted’.

“From the way he was talking he thought he was entitled to do what he wants,” said Mr Ramzan.

He described Reema as ‘vulnerable’ because of her age and said following the death of their father when they were young he felt it was his duty to protect her.

“I was doing the things a father should be doing,” he added.

The trial continues.