Messages have emerged showing an alleged murderer whose teenage wife was found in an acid bath tub begging for a guest role on a podcast.
A popular Sydney podcast host has shared a series of strange messages he received from a man who this week was accused of murdering his 19-year-old wife.
Meraj Zafar, 20, was arrested and charged with murder on Monday after the body of his wife, Armina Hayat, was found in a bathtub filled with acid in their western Sydney apartment.
Now, strange messages have emerged showing Zafar begging a Sydney influencer for a guest spot on his podcast back in February 2021.
The podcaster, who wished to remain anonymous, told news.com.au he was alerted to the 20-year-old’s charges by a follower, which prompted him to go back through his messages and realise Zafar had contacted him just under a year ago.
Zafar messaged the man asking if he could appear on his podcast, saying he had “a lot to talk about”.
The podcaster said they would be bringing guests on weekly but he needed “good questions”, to which Zafar replied he had “a lot of questions”.
The conversation continued, with the now-alleged murderer repeatedly asking if he could be on the podcast, saying he was “serious” about the request.
The pair continued to exchange on and off messages, mainly with the podcaster giving noncommittal responses.
The last message sent by Zafar was on August 15 where he asked “Can I get a shutout?”, which was ignored by the influencer.
Zafar is now being held in custody on remand after he presented to Bankstown police station on Monday after police issued a public appeal for information and released an image of him.
He was charged later that night with his new wife Ms Hayat’s murder and refused bail.
The charges came after the 19-year-old woman’s body was discovered in a unit shared by the couple on Pennant Hills Rd, North Parramatta about 4.30pm on Sunday after her family called police concerned about her welfare.
NSW Police Superintendent Julie Boon said officers had forced entry to the unit and found Ms Hayat’s body in the bathroom.
“I can confirm there were chemicals found inside the bathroom of the unit,” she said on Monday.
Superintendent Boon said the investigation was still in its early stages, with police canvassing neighbours and nearby witnesses and combing the property for evidence.
Zafar’s lawyer Mohamad Sakr appeared in Bankstown Local Court on behalf of his client on Tuesday morning.
He was granted an adjournment until April 5 to allow time for a brief of evidence to be prepared.
Mr Sakr told the court that he may apply for bail for his client “in due course”.
Speaking to journalists outside the court, Mr Sakr said his client was “distraught” and had no comment to make on the allegations at this stage.
He said Zafar would be advised once they had considered the police brief of evidence.
“He’s distraught about being in custody,” he said.
Victim’s parents break down in tragic interview
Ms Hayat’s parents broke down during a heartbreaking interview with Channel 7 on Tuesday, revealing their daughter had dreams of becoming a surgeon.
Abu and Mahafuza Hayat’s uncontrollable grief was evident in the emotional clip, with the girl’s mother seen wailing as she looked at pictures of her late daughter.
“I want my daughter, I want my daughter,” Mr Hayat repeated.
“My daughter’s not coming,” Mrs Hayat said.
Mr and Mrs Hayat said their daughter was in her second year studying medicine at university and had dreams of becoming a surgeon.
“Everyone hoped she’d become a doctor,” Mr Hayat said. “She wanted to help people.
A report from The Daily Telegraph revealed Ms Hayat had only moved to Australia last year, and that she only met her husband Meraj Zafar, 20, a few weeks ago.
It is understood Ms Hayat’s parents did not agree with the couple’s decision to get married, but the pair pushed ahead with their plans and moved into an apartment in North Parramatta together.
Ms Hayat’s parents told Channel 7 that since moving in with Zafar, they lost contact with her.
A local make-up store owner Prieta Mamun said she got to know Ms Hayat after the teen inquired about her products. She described the 19-year-old as a “kind and supportive girl” — but added she had also lost contact with her.
On Facebook, she wrote that it appeared that Ms Hayat got rid of her Instagram account.
Even those who saw Ms Hayat after she moved to North Parramatta said she was incredibly reserved.
Locals described Ms Hayat as being an ideal neighbour but rarely spoke to her. Zafar told neighbours he was from Pakistan.
The cause of Ms Hayat’s death has not been revealed, though a post-mortem examination was due to be conducted on Tuesday.