violent attack | 

Man found dead before trial for murdering his family assaulted wife six months before

Sameer Syed (37) had previously been charged with the assault of Seema Banu causing her harm at the same address on May 16, 2020
Sameer Syed in Newcastle Cemetery

Sameer Syed in Newcastle Cemetery

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A man found dead in his prison cell days before he was due to face trial for the murders of his family had previously been accused of assaulting his wife at their Dublin home, it can be revealed.

Sameer Syed (37) of Llewellyn Court, Rathfarnham, was discovered unresponsive in the Midlands Prison after 3pm yesterday.

Syed had been on remand in prison after being charged with the murder of his wife Seema (37), daughter Asfira (11) and son Faizan (6), in October 2020.

Seema and the two children were brutally murdered at their home in Llewellyn Court, Ballinteer, in south Dublin.

All three had been strangled and it was suspected ligatures were used in their murders.

Following the discovery of their bodies, Syed had denied all involvement in their deaths and claimed he was an innocent man.

However, he was ultimately arrested and charged by gardaí following a detailed and lengthy investigation.

The Sunday World can reveal that, six months months before her brutal murder, Syed had been suspected of launching a violent assault on his wife in their Dublin home.

Syed had previously been charged with the assault of Seema Banu causing her harm at the same address on May 16, 2020.

In October 2020, the assault case was listed for mention in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court but his lawyers told the court they were not proceeding with an application.

Seema Banu and children

Seema Banu and children

The case was put back to a date in 2022 and Syed had been due to attend a court hearing in relation to that matter in the week of the murders.

That trial had been due to start before the Central Criminal Court next week.

An investigation is ongoing into the circumstances surrounding his death by the Irish Prison Service (IPS) but it's understood at this stage no third-party involvement is suspected.

A spokesman told Independent.ie: "The Irish Prison Service can confirm the death of a prisoner in the Midlands Prison [today].

"All deaths in custody are investigated by the Irish Prison Service, the Inspector of Prisons and An Garda Síochána, where circumstances warrant.

"The cause of death is determined by the Coroner Office," the spokesman added.

In the aftermath of the gruesome discoveries a garda alert was issued for Syed and he was later arrested and had been in custody ever since.

In media interviews following the murders he said he wished he woke up every day thinking his family were still with him.

“If there was somehow, someway I could get everything back, if it was possible to go back in time and just get everything back, if was possible I would like to do it.

“If God gave me one wish, only one wish in my life, I want to go back and be with my family happy.

“Every day I think it’s a nightmare and if I wake up everything will be like before. I get up and think it’s just some bad dream. I get up and think things are back to normal. I talk to my wife and kids every day,” he said.

Syed previously appeared in court via video link for a previous hearing relating to the case.

A trial date of June 15 had been set with the case expected to last up to five weeks.


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