Man accused of murdering wife and children in Dublin found dead in prison

Investigation taking place into what caused death of Sameer Syed (38), who was due to go on trial next week

A man who was due to stand trial next week for the murder of his wife and two children in Dublin has been found dead in prison.

Sameer Syed (38), of Grosvenor Lodge, Rathmines, Dublin 6, was found in his cell in the Midlands Prison on Thursday afternoon, sources said. The cause of his death is unknown.

A Garda source described the death of Mr Syed as “a tragic incident”.

The Irish Prison Service said it could confirm “the death of a prisoner in the Midlands Prison” on Thursday but provided no further detail.


“All deaths in custody are investigated by the Irish Prison Service, the Inspector of Prisons and An Garda Síochána, where circumstances warrant. The cause of death is determined by the coroner office,” he said.

Mr Syed was due to stand trial at the Central Criminal Court next Wednesday for the murder of his wife Seema Banu (37), his daughter Asfira Riza (11) and son Faizan Syed (6) at Llewellyn Court, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 in October 2020. His trial was expected to last five weeks.

Ms Banu was from India and lived in the house at Llewellyn Court with her two children. The bodies were found after neighbours in the estate alerted the gardaí. The family had not been seen for several days, the blinds in the home were drawn and Ms Banu could not be contacted.

When gardaí arrived and forced their way into the house they found Ms Banu’s remains in an upstairs bedroom and the bodies of Faizan and Asfira in another bedroom.

Mr Syed was a person of interest in the murder inquiry from the start but it took gardaí a month to gather enough evidence to arrest him. He had led mourners at his wife and children’s funeral shortly before his arrest on November 28th, 2020.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times