Murder accused tells court he "does not remember" attacking girlfriendBy Becky Barnes
November 29, 2012
“I was a butcher,” cried a man accused of murdering his girlfriend, as he gave evidence at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday.
Muhammad Shafi, 28, broke down when probed on what happened in the Bay Drive underpass on Sunday, May 27.
Pakistani-national Shafi, of Basemoors, Bullbrook, said although his clothes were ‘blood-stained like a butcher’s’ he had no memory of attacking Thai-born Tuanjai ‘Tuk’ Sprengel.
He said: “I am saying this repeatedly, I do not remember, I don’t know what happened.”
The court heard Tuk, 43, woke him in the early hours of Sunday and made him look for a £450 necklace she lost on her way to town the day before. Shafi claimed Tuk brought the knife and metal tin snips to the scene and tried to attack him, but he managed to disarm her.
Alan Blake, prosecuting said: “You managed to disarm her but she didn’t manage to scrape you even though she took you totally by surprise – how did she miss?”
Shafi replied: “What can I say? God saved me.”
The jury heard the couple sat in the underpass for around 45 minutes and Tuk revealed she had been unfaithful and called Shafi gay.
He said he felt ‘like a timebomb’ when Tuk, who he had married in an Islamic ceremony five months before, said she had slept with other men. He said to be called a homosexual by the woman he loved was ‘the saddest moment of his life’, but afterwards he couldn’t remember anything as he ‘lost control’.
The court heard Shafi’s memory returned when he was cradling her head as she took her last breaths.
He said: “I remember the cutters was in my hand and there was blood pouring from her head and I was trying to call her two or three times and I was not in my mind.”
Shafi fled the scene and disposed of the weapons and blood-stained clothes and returned home, the court heard. He told the jury he sat crying in his room and wondered if it was a dream and whether he would wake up. Mr Blake accused Shafi of telling ‘a pack of lies’.
He said: “You knew perfectly well what you had done – you were saturated in blood.
“You intended her to die when you kept battering the back of her skull.”
He added Tuk’s EU passport would have been ‘useful’ to Shafi, whose student visa expired on February 18.
Mr Blake said: “This account of her attacking you and God saving you from her attacking you is a lie. It is a lie to cover the fact that you had taken the knife and the tin snips to the underpass and you took Tuk by surprise and attacked her with both of those weapons.”
Earlier in the trial the court heard Ms Sprengel died from blunt force trauma to the head with injuries consistent to those caused by tin snips and a kitchen knife.
Shafi denies the murder and the trial continues.