A man believed to have killed his girlfriend and then himself had text his drug dealer to say he had “got rid” of her, a coroner’s court has heard. Amani Iqbal, 28, was discovered by police at her home in Walthamstow on January 3, 2021, with an initial post-mortem failing to find a conclusive cause of death.
Her partner, Jay Dawes, had died the previous evening after driving into the side of a parked lorry at a layby on a dual carriageway. Amani, a marketing propositions manager at Sainsbury’s, was last seen alive on New Year’s Eve in 2020. Police attended her home on Thornbury Avenue at 8am on January 3 and found her unresponsive. Despite the best efforts of paramedics, she was pronounced dead a short while later.
Several appeals were made by the Metropolitan Police for information, after the results of her post-mortem examination were initially inconclusive. It then emerged that Jay, also of Walthamstow, had died on January 2 after the red Peugeot he was driving collided with a parked lorry in a layby on the A11 in south Cambridgeshire. Emergency services rushed to the northbound carriageway between Stump Cross and Fourwentways, near Babraham, but the 28-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
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(Image: Met Police)
The lorry went up in flames during the incident, which occurred shortly after 9pm. Fire crews from Cambridge and Linton, along with crews from Saffron Walden in Essex and a water carrier from Newmarket desperately tried to tackle the blaze.
During a pre-inquest review hearing on Tuesday (March 22) at Waltham Forest Coroner’s Court, it was heard that a Domestic Homicide Review would take place over the coming months to establish the circumstances of their relationship. Senior Coroner Nadia Persaud said that the inquest would examine Jay’s relationship with drug and alcohol services, as he was found with traces of cocaine in his system at the time of his death.
He had seemingly not accessed mental health support since 2018 and the couple were not known to the police, which Superintendent Richard Tucker stated was “very rare”. Amani’s family stressed that she was not known to any mental health or support services and that there had been “no indication of domestic violence” in the lead up to her death.
Speaking of the Met’s desire to complete a DHR, Superintendent Tucker said: ” Talking about the domestic homicide review, it’s a process for agencies to look at relationships where one party has lost their life or has been seriously injured in terms of any learning or any mistakes that may have been made. I’ve spoken to partners within health and local authority and because of the relationship with Jay and Amani, they do fit the criteria for a DHR.”
Speaking about the list of witnesses for the inquest, Amani’s family said they wished for Jay’s drug dealer to give evidence, as he is a “very key person” to the investigation. The coroner said: “So on New Year’s Eve 2020, which was the last date Amani was seen alive, he received a call or a text stating that Jay had ‘got rid’ of his girlfriend, broken up with her and he was now happy again.
“That’s in Jay’s inquest bundle, and Jay asked for money from him despite stealing hundreds of pounds from Amani’s account. That could mean he was possibly told about Amani’s murder or given details, but importantly he was the only person to speak to Jay from what the police have told us and what the CCTV has revealed.
“Between the time Amani was likely killed and Jay killed himself, we’ve been shown CCTV footage of Jay getting into his car from Amani’s flat and going to speak with him for a length of time.” They stated their belief that he was a “key witness” despite being reluctant to give information to the police.
Amani’s family have set up a JustGiving page in her memory, to raise money for the Make-a-Wish foundation, a charity she supported when she was a teenager. Since its creation in December 2021, it has raised a staggering £5,348 with several comments praise her as an “inspirational person” who made a “huge and important impact” on those around her.
A full inquest is due to take place on September 14 at Waltham Forest, whilst Jay Dawes’ is due to take place the following day on September 15.
Did you know Amani and would like to pay tribute? If so, email [email protected]
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