Taxi driver stabs wife to death in ‘brutal’ attack

A Sydney taxi driver who brutally murdered his wife in front of his daughter before dramatically pleading for his children’s forgiveness has lost a desperate attempt to quash his murder conviction.

Haydar Haydar was jailed for 22 years for stabbing his wife Salwa Haydar to death in her Bexley home in March 2015 in what was described as a “frenzied, sustained and brutal attack”.

Haydar was also convicted of wounding his daughter Ola, who tried to stop him from stabbing her mother 30 times.

There were dramatic scenes in the NSW Supreme Court in May 2017 when Haydar was jailed for a minimum of 18 years as he pleaded with his daughters who were in the public gallery.

“I would like to let everyone know that when I did what I did I was not normal at all and I was totally insane,” he said at the time.

Justice Peter Garling found Haydar guilty of murder rather than manslaughter after finding his depression did not play a part in the bloody attack.

At the time, Haydar falsely believed his wife was having an affair after their relationship deteriorated and she asked for a divorce.

“I concluded that the offender’s loss of control was triggered by anger derived from jealousy of the deceased and her perceived new relationship and the deceased’s final rejection of the offender when she told him to leave the Bexley townhouse,” Justice Garling said in his sentencing remarks.

Haydar earlier this year launched an appeal against his conviction, arguing that he had lost self-control during the attack.

The court was told that on the day of the attack, Haydar had returned from overseas and when an argument escalated, he stabbed Salwa with a knife he had brought back from Lebanon.

When his daughter Ola attempted to place herself between him and her mother, she was also stabbed in the right hand.

Ola desperately called triple-0 as Haydar fled, and despite paramedics attempting to save Salwa’s life, she died due to the stab wounds to her front, back and face.

At trial, Haydar pleaded guilty to manslaughter and not guilty to murder.

While Haydar was suffering from mild to moderate depression at the time, Justice Garling found it was not the only factor that led to him to viciously stab his wife in the kitchen and loungeroom.

During the trial, Ola gave evidence that her father at one point paused the attack before resuming.

On appeal, Haydar’s lawyers attempted to argue that Justice Garling’s finding about his loss of self-control throughout the attack was based on a misunderstanding of Ola’s evidence.

However, the Court of Appeal on Wednesday refused to quash Haydar’s conviction, with justices Mark Leeming, Natalie Adams and Hament Dhanji dismissing the appeal.

“I do not accept that there is any error in the conclusion that the applicant’s impaired capacity for self-control did not persist throughout the whole of the attack,” Justice Leeming said.

“That is sufficient to reject this ground.”

Haydar will first be eligible for release on parole in March 2033.

Originally published as Wife-killer Haydar Haydar to remain behind bars

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