A Perthshire chef who murdered his former lover in a frenzied knife attack faces the rest of his life behind bars.
Mohammed Ali Abboud, 57, stabbed Agnieszka Szefler 19 times as she packed her belongings after ending their six-year relationship. The callous killer then tried to cover his tracks, telling police Miss Szefler had “gone mad” because of her period and attacked him.
Trial judge Lord Uist urged the 57-year-old to tell social workers what really happened in his Bridge of Earn home on January 23, ahead of sentencing on January 21.
Miss Szefler’s family, who travelled from Poland to attend the trial, declined to comment as they left the court following Abboud’s conviction.
An eight-day trial heard the terrified Polish teacher, known to friends as Aga, ran bleeding into the back garden after Abboud bit her and stabbed her with a kitchen knife.
He chased and pounced on the defenceless 27-year-old before inflicting the fatal stab wound. Abboud then stabbed himself with the knife before cleaning it and placing it under Miss Szefler’s bloodstained body, claiming she had fallen on it during the struggle.
But neighbour Chloe Forbes-Kindlen saw the fatal blow from her window, telling a 999 operator: “There’s a guy stabbing her and she’s just lying there.”
A jury took two-and-a-half hours to unanimously find Abboud guilty of murder and by majority of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
The trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard the couple met in 2008, when Miss Szefler was studying to teach English as a second language at Perth College. They lived together in Milnathort before moving to Horsemill Place in Bridge of Earn.
The court heard Miss Szefler moved to Kuwait in 2013 to start a new job with the expectation Abboud would follow. But tensions arose when he did not even visit her, leading to Miss Szefler ending their relationship in November 2014.
Miss Szefler told Abboud she would visit Scotland in January, texting: “I’m not coming to patch things up. You have to understand that. I will come so that we can talk and explain some things.”
Abboud replied: “I understand that.”
The trial was shown CCTV footage of Abboud “doing a little dance” of excitement as he picked Miss Szefler up from Edinburgh Airport on January 23. A bunch of flowers was later found by police in his car.
He drove Miss Szefler to his house after she picked up boxes from her best friend’s home in Perth so she could pack her remaining belongings from Abboud’s house.
The trial heard Miss Szefler received text messages from her new boyfriend shortly before Abboud attacked her.
Detective Inspector Brian Geddes said: “As a result of today’s conviction, Abboud will now spend a considerable period of time in prison.
“This was a brutal attack on a young woman by her former partner and our thoughts are with Ms Szefler’s family, and I sincerely hope this brings some form of closure for them.”