A former soldier murdered his ex-girlfriend’s stepmother by slashing her throat after telling her: “There is a need for us all to die”, a court heard.
Barach Bandavad, 38, butchered Judith Ege, 58, after she arrived at his house with her husband to collect her step-daughter’s belongings following their split, it was said.
After appearing “polite and co-operative” during the handover it is alleged that he suddenly flipped, revealing that he had a gun and two knives and demanded they take him for a drive.
The couple refused and Judith’s husband Augustine grabbed the car keys and fled in the hope that Bandavad would run after him and leave his wife alone.
But the Ministry of Defence worker then repeatedly stabbed Judith as she sat in the back of the car before slicing her neck open, a jury was told.
Bandavad, who worked at the Abbey Wood procurement centre in Bristol, denies murder at Bristol Crown Court.
Mr Ege, a teacher, told the court that in the moments leading up to the murder he had become convinced Bandavad wanted to kill them.
He said: “My first thought patterns were that if we got into the car and went to this place I didn’t think we would come back alive.
“I felt if the three of us got into this car and drove off he would kill both of us.
“I recall him saying ‘there is a need for us to die’ and at this stage he was quite erratic and I remember him saying ‘I’m now getting very, very nervous’.
“I think he then told me again that he was getting very nervous and that he wasn’t afraid to use the weapons, I slowly took the keys from the ignition.
“That is when I ran down the road. I thought it was me he was after and that he would come running after me and I was feeling confident I would out-run him.
“I wanted to try and draw him away from my wife.
“But as I ran off I heard a really loud scream, it was definitely female, and definitely my wife.”
The heard how Bandavad had been in a relationship with Samantha Hines for 18 months after they had met on a music course at the University of Bristol.
Following their break-up Samantha arranged to collect her belongings from his house in Horfield, Bristol, on June 30th last year.
She travelled from Oxfordshire to Bristol in a rented Vauxhall Corsa car with her father, a teacher, and Judith, a special needs teacher.
She did not want to see Bandavad again so her parents dropped her off at the shops while they went to his house at around midday.
Mr Ege told the court that when they arrived he greeted the pair and begun to calmly load Samantha’s possessions into the car.
But his mood quickly changed when he brought out the last bag and noticed that Judith was ticking items off a list that her step-daughter had given her.
Mr Ege told the jury: “He said ‘the three of us are going to go for a drive’.
“His manner was reasonably calm. My reply was that this was not what we agreed. I said we would come, collect the stuff and go.
“He said ‘No, we are going for a drive to a place where I went to when I first came to this country’.”
Bandavad then pulled up his jumper to reveal the handle of a gun – which later turned out to be an imitation – tucked in the waistband of his trousers, the court was told.
The couple refused to go with him and Mr Ege then noticed he was holding two knives in his left hand.
According to Mr Ege, Bandavad then told him: “You don’t understand. We are going for a drive. You’re making me very nervous now. I’m not afraid to use this.”
At this point Mr Ege grabbed the car keys and fled the scene, leaving Judith stranded in the back of the two-door car surrounded by boxes.
Michael Fitton QC, prosecuting, told the court that Judith would have been left defenceless, trapped between Bandavad and Samantha’s possessions.
He said: “She was stabbed a number of times by the defendant, to the chest and neck and then he sliced her throat open.
“Having cut her throat this defendant did nothing to try and help her but ran off with the blood stained knife still in his hands in hot pursuit of Augustine.”
Mr Ege asked two men nearby to dial 999 but Bandavad ran past shortly afterwards – still brandishing the bloodied knife – and grabbed their phone and ended the call.
A witness then saw Bandavad return to the scene of his crime, unable to find Mr Ege, and forced Judith’s body back into the car before attempting to drive off.
He then removed a bottle, believed to be barbecue lighter fluid, from a rucksack and poured it into the car’s petrol tank before attempting to set it alight.
However this failed and he fled the scene, dumping his coat, t-shirt and backpack into a nearby wheely bin.
Mr Fitton added: “At 12.06am Mr Bandavad made a call to a friend.
“He said: ‘I just called to bye. I did something bad today and I’m going to die.
“‘I had a false gun to make Augustine talk to me and take me somewhere but he had his girl in the car and I killed her.'”
Bandavad, who is of Caribbean origin, later called police to hand himself in, telling officers Judith had accidentally come into contact with the knife during a struggle.
The case continues.
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