A 28-year man who killed Sainsbury’s marketing manager Amani Iqbal in her Walthamstow flat, seemingly claimed he “got rid” of his girlfriend and appeared “happy and upbeat”, an inquest heard.
Iqbal was done to death with a dressing gown and was left in a bathtub after she was last seen crying on New Year Eve 2020. CCTV footage also showed the Durham University graduate holding hands with her cocaine and gambling addict boyfriend Jay Dawes just hours before her death.
Dawes killed himself two days after the murder by ramming his Peugeot into a parked lorry near Saffron Walden in Essex.
The woman, 28, was found dead with her t-shirt partially removed a day later on January 3, 2021, and a pathologist said her neck was compressed. A bag of ice, suspected to be bought by Dawes, was found on the top of her body.
Sometime after 9 pm on new year’s eve, Dawes began sending text messages to his drug dealer Brian Alexander saying he “got rid” of his girlfriend.
Alexander said in his police statement, “I got a text from him saying he had got rid of her or broken up with his girlfriend, I can’t remember the exact words he used.”
“He said had got another girlfriend who he had broken up with and now he was happy again. He appeared upbeat and happy,” Alexander said.
Dawes also withdrew £250 three times, drove her Fiat 500 and bought pizza after her death.
Waltham Forest Coroners Court in east London heard that Iqbal and Dawes had been talking about getting married and having babies.
In her evidence read out by the coroner, Iqbal’s mother Samina the circumstances surrounding the death were unclear and that her family was “still in shock and struggling to make sense of such a sudden and unexpected event.”
She said her daughter was a “happy and active girl” who maintained “strong friendships with her school girlfriends”.
“She only had two boyfriends before starting a relationship with Jay,” Samina said.
“At first their relationship went very well and they moved into a flat in Bounds Green together,” she said and recalled the family often went to their house for lunch.
“However, I soon saw him undermining her friendships with her closest school friends, which turned her against them to some degree,” the deceased woman’s mother said.
“Then he changed and he decided he didn’t want to be with her. She came back to live with me,” she said.
“I was taken aback by the fact that they broke up but they never completely broke away from each other… They kept speaking and seeing each other as friends but I didn’t like the way he treated her.”
The grieving woman also recalled her daughter talking about Dawes’ debts, instability and previous suicide attempts.
She said: “She told me about his depression, instability, previous suicide attempts, lack of work and the fact he had debts.
“He told her repeatedly his family didn’t care about him and they only got back together when she bought a flat in Walthamstow in 2018.”
Samina said, “Their relationship became obscure and I thought he was not a good influence on her.”