Jilted husband jailed for attempting to murder wife ahead of divorce hearing at Birmingham family court

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Asim Abdulrasul stabbed his wife during a frenzied attack in broad daylight in Birmingham city centre

A jilted husband who tried to murder his estranged wife outside a family court ahead of their divorce hearing 'to teach her a lesson' has been jailed for 24 years.

Asim Abdulrasul, 47, repeatedly stabbed his ex-wife during the frenzied broad daylight attack after ambushing her outside Birmingham Civil & Family Justice Centre.

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A court heard the 'controlling' thug chased his ex through the busy city centre before knifing her in the head in front of horrified commuters and shoppers last August. The attack, which only lasted six seconds, was ended when brave members of the public rushed to Wafae's aid and dragged her to safety into a café.

Jurors were told after being arrested Abdulrasul laughed and told police: "I did it to teach her a lesson". Abdulrasul, of Coventry, denied attempted murder, possessing a knife and coercive and controlling behaviour but was found guilty following a trial in July. He was jailed for 24 years at Birmingham Crown Court last Friday (December 15).

Sentencing, Judge Heidi Kubic said: "On 16 August last year you attempted to murder your wife in broad day light in the centre of this city. People were on their way to work. At the time you were consumed with embittered rage because Mrs Khatab had rejected you as a husband and left you some three years ago.

"You were only prevented from succeeding in this outrageous and frenzied attack by the brave actions of two members of the public. You controlled what she wore and who she socialised with. On August 17, 2019 you saw her speaking with a male co worker at your then place of work.

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"As a result of that you assaulted her, telling her that she would die, here in the UK. She was terrified of you and two days later when she rejected your sexual advances you assaulted her, slapping and kicking her to the abdomen."

Asim Abdulrasul attempted to murder wife ahead of divorce hearing in Birmingham city centre courtAsim Abdulrasul attempted to murder wife ahead of divorce hearing in Birmingham city centre court
Asim Abdulrasul attempted to murder wife ahead of divorce hearing in Birmingham city centre court | West Midlands Police / SWNS

The judge said the victim had fled to a woman's refuge, even leaving her shoes behind and she had taken a non molestation order out against the defendant. She added: "You no longer knew where she lived and you then launched a smear campaign on the Internet causing enormous embarrassment for her and her parents."

Referring to the attack, she said: "CCTV footage clearly shows that from the moment you caught up with her you delivered seven or eight blows towards her head with the knife within just six seconds. In just six seconds you managed to inflict serious injuries."

Michael Williams, prosecuting, said the pair had met online in 2015. They married in Morocco and came back to the UK in 2018. The court heard he wanted to start a family immediately but she had difficulty in conceiving a child.

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During the relationship Abdulrasul had been violent towards her and in 2021 she started divorce proceedings, which he had contested. She subsequently began a relationship with another man and fell pregnant.

On the morning of August 16 last year there was an arrangement for them to go to the family courts in Birmingham city centre for the divorce settlement. Mr Williams said CCTV captured Abdulrasul hanging around near the courts "waiting 40 minutes to attack Mrs Khatab before she went in."

He added: "He started to make his move. She spotted him and knew immediately she was in danger, turns back and walks along Temple Row. It was 9.45am and that everybody was going about their business as you would expect.

"Mrs Khatab walks towards Broad Street and she is then chased by the defendant. He catches up with her and you see the knife in his hand. You see the ferocity of the attack upon her which only ended because people bravely intervened. Mrs Khatab was pulled into a cafe by the shop owner and the door was held shut by him and another."

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The scene after 26-year-old victim Wafae Khatab was attacked with a knife on Temple Row, in Birmingham . August 16 2022The scene after 26-year-old victim Wafae Khatab was attacked with a knife on Temple Row, in Birmingham . August 16 2022
The scene after 26-year-old victim Wafae Khatab was attacked with a knife on Temple Row, in Birmingham . August 16 2022 | SWNS

Mr Williams said other members of the public had thrown tables and an advertising sign at Abdulrasul causing him to drop his knife. He said the defendant then picked up the blade and walked off and the emergency services were called.

Mr Williams said at one point Abdulrasul tried to get on to a flat bed van but was stopped before being eventually arrested by armed police. The victim, who was taken to the Queen Elizabeth hospital, had been stabbed twice to her head and once to the right side of her face. She also had two deeper wounds to her left upper arm and wrist caused by her trying to defend herself.

Islam Khan, defending, said Abdulrasul had come to the UK as a refugee after fleeing the civil war in Sudan, became a British citizen in 2012 and had been brought up by his mother. He told the court his client had worked at various warehouses and as a taxi driver and was 'deeply sorry and remorseful' for what he had done.