Man appears in court over murder of woman in Limerick

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A 26-year-old man has appeared before a Belfast court charged with the murder of a woman in Limerick city.

Geila Ibram, 27, from Romania, was found dead at a residence in Dock Road in Limerick on Tuesday.

Habib Shamel, an Afghan national, appeared before the court via videolink charged with her murder.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he had been in Ireland since October 2020, and had applied for asylum.

When asked whether he understood the charge against him, he confirmed through an interpreter that he did.

A detective sergeant told the court that Ms Ibram had been stabbed “numerous times” and that the attack resulted in the defendant injuring his hand.

The detective said that evidence gathered shows a conversation between the defendant and the victim, between 11.20am and 12.40pm on April 4, which was “arranging a sexual exchange”.

At the end of the conversation, the victim provided her address, the court heard.

The detective said that CCTV footage shows the defendant entering the flat just before 1.30pm, and leaving “approximately one minute 52 seconds later”.

He said that the victim was stabbed numerous times in the neck, face and abdomen during this period, in what the court heard was a “vicious and frenzied attack”.

The detective said the defendant made attempts to try to treat his hand, including attending Limerick University Hospital.

On April 5, he arrived in Belfast after travelling by bus with a friend before being arrested on April 6.

The detective said the defendant made “numerous admissions” during his interview with police about “his actions within the flat”, his injured hand and his travel to Belfast.

When charged by police, the court heard that the defendant replied “I’ve said everything.”

Mr Shamel’s legal team argued that he should be granted bail, telling the court that the prison service would not be able to accommodate his religious requests and that there were concerns for his mental health.

The district judge refused the defendant bail, calling the charge “a very grave offence” and there being “far too high” a flight risk or risk of further offending.

Legal aid was granted and he is next due to appear before court via videolink on May 2.

The charge is contrary to common law and section one of the Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1975.

Under that legislation, it is understood that the justice process can take place in Northern Ireland if a suspect has fled from a different jurisdiction where a serious criminal offence has taken place.

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