CASH-AND-CARRY boss Sameena Imam was killed on Christmas Eve by a secret lover and colleague from Coventry with his brother’s help, a court heard.
The 34-year-old was working as a regional marketing manager for cash and carry wholesaler, Costco, and was last seen leaving the Coventry store at around 4pm on Christmas Eve last year.
Her body was found by the police inquiry team on January 21 buried in an allotment in Leicester.
Roger Cooper, 41, of Tile Hurst Drive, Coventry, who was the manager of the Coventry Costco Warehouse, and his brother, David Cooper, 38, of Hughenden Drive, Leicester, were charged with her murder on January 9.
Their trial at Birmingham Crown Court began yesterday (August 17) and is expected to last eight weeks.
The court heard Ms Imam was one of three lovers of Roger Cooper, and they kept their affair a secret to prevent any potential recriminations at work.
The others were his live-in partner Susan Potts and Costco colleague Sinead Sweeney.
It is alleged he wanted her “out of his life” after she issued an ultimatum for him to leave his long-term partner.
He allegedly believed he would be sacked if their affair was exposed.
Both men deny murder of the business woman from Cardiff.
The court heard Roger Cooper may claim he travelled to Leicester to collect a present from his brother – a Star Wars figurine.
Timothy Spencer QC, prosecuting, said: “He did pick (the Star Wars figure) up but we say the reality of that journey is that it had a much more sinister motive.
“It was really about what was going to happen to Sameena Imam.”
The jury saw CCTV footage of Ms Imam and Roger Cooper leaving the store on Christmas Eve within minutes for each other.
It is alleged she left her BMW and was driven to Leicester.
Mr Spencer said: “They thought they had got away with the killing. They thought they had covered their tracks and traces. They were wrong.”
It is alleged Roger Cooper calculated that he would not be in the frame were Sameena to disappear because the affair was secret.
But the court heard she had confided to close friends about it.
It is alleged his nickname for her was “SAI” – meaning ‘sweet and innocent’.
Ms Imam, who also worked for Costco outlets in Southampton, Bristol and Cardiff, was reported missing after failing to attend a family gathering in Essex on Boxing Day.
The trial continues.