Saturday,June 23, 2012
Source: The Daily Telegraph
Burnham Castle no protection for Dr Khalid Qidwai's murdered wife Shahnaz
· by: MARK MORRI CRIME EDITOR
· From: The Daily Telegraph
June 23, 2012 12:00AM
· THE private waterfront beach on Sydney Harbour was reward for years of hard work by Dr Khalid Qidwai and his wife Shahnaz.
· But it may also have provided the perfect point for a ruthless killer to enter the Sydney surgeon's property and bludgeon his 65-year-old wife to death.
· At noon eight days ago, residents and workers in the secluded street in Henley heard screams coming from Burnham Castle.
· "The screams were kind of scary," next door neighbour Henry Hart said.
· Those in the well-to-do but little-known suburb of Henley under the Gladesville bridge are feeling uneasy.
· "Undesirables hang out at the point," Mr Hart said.
· "From there its pretty easy to walk around to their house - along the beach - and into the home."
· It wasn't the first time a waterfront home has been targeted for a violent robbery.
· Sydney jockey Ron Dufficy's $10 million Woolwich pile was invaded in daylight a week before Christmas in 2010 while is family was home.
· "Some of the homes in this street have been broken into over the years," Mr Hart said.
· Residents in the street said they would now look at increasing security.
· "I am certainly worried, we don't know any details of how she was killed or why," another neighbour said.
· Police won't elaborate on whether there was a robbery or a motive for murder. All they will say is Mrs Qidwai was murdered between 10am and 2pm on June 15.
· On the day of the murder Mrs Qidwai didn't go to the Croydon surgery the couple ran because she was feeling ill.
· Instead she stayed at home. The couple signed the deeds to the dream property on Christmas Eve in 1986 for $990,000.
· The Italian-style castle overlooks the Harbour and the property extends down to a private beach, tennis court and swimming pool.
· It was there the Qidwais raised their four children - daughters Maha and Sumeena, both doctors and Hana, a dentist. All work in the inner west. Their only son Fasail is an engineer.
· The doctor and his wife were well known within the higher echelons of the Pakistani community.
· But despite their wealth and success the couple never left the origins of their success.
· Until Mrs Qidwai's death the pair drove nearly every day to a small brick home in Malvern St, Croydon, which they bought for $66,000 in 1978.
· For the next eight years it was both home and workplace. In the front of the home, Dr Khalid Qidwai performed day surgery for a growing Muslim population. His wife ran reception.
· The business is still the base for Dr Qidwai, who is now one of the most successful surgeons performing circumcisions on young Muslim males.
· "They worked incredibly hard and were very successful," said family friend of 21 years Syed Zafar Hussain. "They came originally from India and then Pakistan."
· Mr Zafar Hussain said the couple were happy and always together at social functions.
· "But they were very private and did not have parties. They practised their Muslim faith and mainly lived a quiet family life."
· Mr Syed Zafar Hussain, editor-in-chief of the Pakistani paper Sada-e-Watan said the couple had arrived in Australia nearly 40 years ago.
· "The community is in shock. No one can understand why this would happen to such a well-respected family," he said.
· The close-knit family have been devastated by the death of Shahnaz, as she was known.
· "The family is grieving and very stressed," Dr Qidwai said in his only public comment since the death. The couple had recently returned from a two-week holiday in Turkey.
· Police are not releasing the cause of death or the manner in which Mrs Qidwai died.
· But to the residents of Dick St it was obvious it was a violent death.
· "Police spent four days in the house and had divers searching the water outside and along the shore for a weapon," Mr Hart said.
Source: The Daily Telegraph
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