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Man denies stabbing wife to death

PUBLISHED: 16:54 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:58 24 August 2010

A HUSBAND accused of stabbing his wife to death for a £375,000 life insurance payout told jurors he got scratches on his hand on the fateful day by picking blackberries. The Old Bailey heard claims that Mikdat Sahpaz, 46, murdered mother-of-two Elif Oruc

A HUSBAND accused of stabbing his wife to death for a £375,000 life insurance payout told jurors he got scratches on his hand on the fateful day by picking blackberries.

The Old Bailey heard claims that Mikdat Sahpaz, 46, murdered mother-of-two Elif Oruc, 42, at the family home in Carlton Avenue East, Wembley, and then tried to disguise it as a burglary.

Sahpaz, who prosecutors claim had been having an affair with another woman for four years, called 999 at 10pm on July 9 last year and claimed he had just come home and found her body.

Jurors listened to a recording of the emergency call in which he can be heard trying to revive his wife.

Sahpaz told the court he had spent most of the day at a Kurdish community centre in north London, and at lunchtime he went to a café where he saw some blackberries.

He said: "I went to pick a couple of them for myself. The blackberry bush, it was very difficult to pick."

The judge, Recorder of London Peter Beaumont, QC, asked him: "Are you saying that is how you got scratches on your wrist?"

Sahpaz replied: "Yes."

Mrs Oruc had run and then sold a sandwich shop business, before becoming a dinner lady at Barham Primary School in Wembley.

Between them, the couple, who are both Turkish, also owned four properties across the capital worth £1m.

Between May 2006 and May of last year Sahpaz drained more than £17,000 in savings from his daughter's savings account.

He claims he discovered his wife's body in the kitchen of the family home after collecting his daughter from an orchestral performance and his son, nine, from a cub scout group.

He denies murder.

The trial continues.

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