MURDER TRIAL: Credit card belonging to Weybread pensioner used day after she was last seen, court hears

Sylvia and Peter Stuart
Sylvia and Peter Stuart

A credit card belonging to a woman who Suffolk police say was murdered was used to withdraw cash the day after she was last seen alive, a jury has heard.

Although the body of Sylvia Stuart, 69, from Weybread has never been found, a man who claims he is a victim of mistaken identity, is on trial at Ipswich Crown Court for her murder.

Ali Qazimaj is currently on trial for the alleged murder of the Stuarts

Ali Qazimaj is currently on trial for the alleged murder of the Stuarts

Ali Qazimaj, from south Essex, is also accused of killing Mrs Stuart’s husband Peter, 75, whose body was found by police in a stream at the rear of their home in May last year.

Qazimaj, a former asylum seeker, has pleaded not guilty to both offences and is claiming that he is not who police think he is and had never been to the UK until he was arrested at a hostel in Luxembourg and extradited at the request of the British authorities.

This week the court heard that Mrs Stuart’s Barclaycard was used at a cash machine in Thurrock on May 30 last year, the day after she was last seen, to withdraw £200.

The jury heard that one minute later a further £100 was withdrawn using the same machine and a short time later an unsuccessful attempt was made at Chafford Hundred to obtain £500.

Sylvia and Peter Stuart

Sylvia and Peter Stuart

Prosecuting, Andrew Jackson told the court that another minute later a further attempt to get £100 was made and early the next day an attempt was made to use the card to obtain £300 from a machine in Grays.

Two more attempts were made using cash machines in Grays the same day but without success, the court heard.

Despite denying being Ali Qazimaj, the defendant has been linked using DNA testing to blood found on a car abandoned in a street in Dover and through fingerprints, mobile phone records and police roadside cameras, the prosecution claim.

It is alleged that Qazimaj knew of Mr and Mrs Stuart through a connection with their son-in-law while working as a carer for his father.

Qazimaj is alleged to have been a frequent gambler and amassed debts and to have committed the murders after gaining the impression that Mr and Mrs Stuart were millionaires.

Mr Jackson told the jury that bank records showed that between 2013 and March last year, Qazimaj had paid from his bank account more than £15,000 to online gambling sites.

The jury were told that details gathered by automatic number plate recognition cameras had shown that Qazimaj’s Citroen car had been tracked on a number of occasions heading from his home in Essex to Weybread, sometimes in the dead of night, in the months before the alleged murders.

The trial continues.