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Crime in Hong Kong

Hong Kong jury finds drill killer guilty of murdering girlfriend

Safdar Husnain, 28, set to be jailed for life over the slaying of mother-of-four Andrea Bayr, 25, who was choked and stabbed in the face with a six-inch electric drill

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 January, 2018, 3:16pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 January, 2018, 8:22pm

A man who stabbed his girlfriend in the face with an electric drill nearly two years ago was on Tuesday found guilty of murder in Hong Kong.

A jury of six men and one woman returned a majority verdict of 6-1 against Safdar Husnain, 28, after 11 hours of deliberation. The foreman announced: “We find the defendant guilty.”

The gruesome case centred on the death of Andrea Bayr, 25, who left behind four children after she was choked and stabbed in the face with a 15.5-centimetre (six-inch) drill on March 29, 2016.

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An autopsy found the drill was pushed eight centimetres into her head, penetrating from the area below her right eye, through her cheek bone and down to her jaw bone. She also suffered from a brain haemorrhage, with deep bruises in her neck muscles, and there were traces of the drug methamphetamine, also known as Ice, in her blood and urine. It was concluded that she died of either the head or neck injury, or both.

The High Court heard that her boyfriend Husnain had admitted to killing her after taking drugs that made him see a snake in the moon and hear voices that warned of his demise at the hands of his lover.

But he denied that it was murder, arguing through his counsel David Boyton that he was under the influence of drugs when he committed the killing and had no intention to kill.

“I loved her, why would I kill her?” Husnain had testified.

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His version was supported by psychiatric experts from the defence and prosecution, who both commented that his mental responsibility towards the killing was diminished by the drug-induced disorders he was suffering.

But the jury sided with prosecutors, who argued that all the psychiatric findings in the case were based on Husnain’s tale of seeing visual hallucinations for the first time on the night he killed Bayr, which had been too convenient and incidental.

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Husnain, who faces a mandatory life sentence, did not immediately react to the verdict.

“In light of the jury’s verdict, you are formally convicted of the offence of murder,” Mr Justice Kevin Zervos said. “As provided under the Offences Against the Persons Ordinance, a person convicted of murder shall be jailed for life.”

“Thanks,” Husnain responded through his Urdu interpreter.

The judge will explain his reasons for the sentence on Wednesday.