Ex-Iraqi soldier killing shocked community

Wellington police at the scene where a woman died after being stabbed. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The murder of a “friendly” woman by her former Iraqi soldier husband came as a huge shock to the small Wellington Assyrian community.

Najeeb Dawood stabbed Eman Hurmiz to death at their Strathmore home in September 2011.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to the murder, and at Wellington High Court today he pleaded guilty to charges relating to an incident in November 2010, including assault on a 13-year-old, threatening to kill and possession of a weapon, Newstalk ZB reported.

Today the court heard the chilling facts of the violent, controlling relationship between Dawood and his family for more than 20 years – culminating in him stabbing his wife 55 times then attempting to kill himself.

His lawyer said he suffered from ‘delusional jealousy’ and believed his wife was having an affair.

The couple were Assyrian, a predominantly Christian minority living mostly in Iraq and Syria. Assyrian Association New Zealand spokesman Sarjon Warde today said the murder last year had affected the whole Assyrian community.

“The whole community was shocked, and it was just a huge shock on the community.”

The family was well known in the community, especially Ms Hurmiz, who Mr Warde described as a “friendly, very nice lady”.

The family was not prepared to comment.