Wife reveals attacker’s disturbed state of mind
The wife of Bourke Street killer Hassan Khalif Shire Ali has told how he searched their house for listening devices amid increasing paranoia before embarking on a stabbing frenzy.
Beyza Eren - who married Shire Ali three months after meeting him via Facebook - revealed the 30-year-old also had a secret son in Somalia where they'd tried to move.
The couple split on Ms Eren finding Shire Ali had been searching escort services on his phone but reconciled in the months before the November 2018 attack.
Ms Eren told a coronial inquest her husband was convinced rumours were circulating he was gay and had recently ceased using marijuana, saying he thought it was being spiked with a drug that caused him to hallucinate.
"He started to become extremely paranoid,'' Ms Eren told the Coroners Court.
"He would tell me that he thinks people are listening to him - that they would hear everything that he was talking about.
"Every time he would leave the house he would come back claiming that cars were following him. He would go grocery shopping and claim that women were sent there on purpose to bend over in front of him.
"He even accused the landlord's daughter of doing the same thing.
"I remember him saying the Turkish and Arab community were listening in on him.
"He would go around the house trying to see if there was microphones or cameras.
"One night I remember waking up and not finding him there and I found him outside listening in on the neighbour thinking that person was listening to him.
"He would go through his car, my car, checking if there was any microphones, cameras.
"He had broken something in my car thinking it was some sort of listening device."
Shire Ali even turned his paranoia to Ms Eren's family.
"He also claimed that my family were also watching him and listening to him - his family as well actually,'' Ms Eren told the court.
Ms Eren had sent her husband links to religious videos and documents in the weeks before the attack but told the court she had been encouraging her husband to show more interest in his religion as he had been praying less often.
She said she hadn't discussed Islamic State openly with her husband but noticed he'd become increasingly hostile towards strangers, on one occasion smashing into pedestrians at a petrol station.
Shire Ali and Ms Eren were stopped from travelling to Somalia in 2015 - a trip she now believed he was going to use to travel to Syria.
"He had told me he had a son in Somlia and that he was well off there - he preferred living there,'' Ms Eren told the court.
"He had a business going there, a few different businesses, he had some business idea.
"He wanted to live there."
The couple's relationship had been on-and-off, strained as Shire Ali was typically out of work.
Shortly after they were married Ms Eren also found Shire Ali had been communicating with another woman but accepted his explanation.
"I had found some messages in his phone one time and he became all defensive and just claimed that he was no longer speaking to this woman,'' Ms Eren said
Ms Eren was increasingly worried about her husband's mental health and went with him to see a doctor who referred Shire Ali to psychologist but he never went.
Ms Eren's brother Evrem Eren earlier told the court Shire Ali seemed "very paranoid" and erratic - accusing Mr Eren and his father of following him.
"Hassan was convinced that we were following him,'' Mr Eren said.
"He was acting like a paranoid schizophrenic."
Mr Eren said his parents were "not real big fans" of Shire Ali.
Mr Eren too thought he was "very lazy" and not a devout Muslim because he didn't provide for his family and once declined to pray.
Mr Eren recalled his sister phoned him on the night of the Bourke Street attack.
"She said something was wrong and I rushed over there,'' he said.
"I walked in and my sister was crying. I did not know exactly what was going on.
"I think I had done some quick digging up on the internet and I saw Hassan - I saw him being shot.
"Everyone was just confused. Everyone was in shock."
Muammer Yavuz, who allowed Ms Eren and her baby to live in a bungalow behind his mum and sister's Meadow Heights house when she broke up with Shire Ali, told the inquest of a worrying encounter in August.
He warned his mum and sister to stay away from Shire Ali.
"I met him at the front door and he asked me to come around the corner into the driveway.
"He looked like he was agitated and was moving a lot while talking to me.
"I thought he looked paranoid and jumpy. He said something like: 'Have the police come here looking for me? If the police come they are trying to get me into trouble and they are blaming me for stuff but I am not like that'.
The inquest continues.
Originally published as Wife reveals Bourke St attacker's disturbed state of mind