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Woman stabbed in front of young children was terrified of husband, inquest told
A woman who was stabbed to death in front of her two young children by her estranged husband was "unravelling in fear" at what he may do to her, her mother told an inquest.
Sharon De Souza was about to drive 24-year-old Cassandra Hasanovic to a women's refuge when Hajrudin Hasanovic appeared at the side of her car and hauled her daughter, who was known as Cassie, over one of the children and out of the vehicle, she said.
The jury sitting in Chichester, heard that Hasanovic, 34, who was known as Harry, plunged a knife into Mrs Hasanovic outside of her mother's home in Bognor on July 29, 2008.
Serbian-born Hasanovic, who was facing deportation at the time of the killing and losing a custody battle for the children, was jailed for a minimum of 18 years for her murder at Lewes Crown Court in May 2009.
During the trial, Hasanovic was described as a "paranoid and jealous" partner who controlled his wife throughout their marriage and turned her from being bright and bubbly to a "petrified" young woman.
Mrs De Souza told the inquest that despite her daughter giving Sussex and Kent police forces information about where her estranged husband, who lived in Dover, was working and living, and telling them that he was repeatedly breaching a non-molestation order imposed by the courts in 2007, no-one seemed to be doing anything to catch him.
She said her daughter had repeatedly voiced her fears to the police and her family about the threats and abuse she had suffered at the hands of her husband after their marriage came to an end in May 2007, when he was arrested on suspicion of attacking her.
Mrs Hasanovic fled to Australia following the incident to stay with relatives as she feared Hasanovic would take the children but had to return to the UK to fight for custody.
Mrs De Souza told the inquest her daughter's mobile phone had a direct line to the police and that a panic button had been installed in her home.
She said Hasanovic would call her daughter "continually" and even made a friend request to her on Facebook shortly before he killed her.
She said her daughter felt like a "sitting duck" and that she could not go anywhere because Hasanovic had taken the children's passports.
Mrs De Souza continued: "She kept saying to me 'I know he's going to kill me mum'.
"She had been offered a refuge; although she wanted to be with me, she did not feel safe.
"She was unravelling in fear and the refuge was offered."
Mrs De Souza told the inquest that she believed the police should have given them help to get to the refuge safely but that when they asked for help nothing was done.
The inquest continues.
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