London - A builder sexually fixated with his teenage niece kidnapped, raped and murdered her before dumping her body in a freezer, a court heard on Wednesday.
Mujahid Arshid, 33, is accused of ambushing Celine Dookhran, 19, and another young woman in a terrifying raid, bundling them both into the boot of his car and taking them to a £1.5million house that he was renovating.
The "utterly wicked" uncle spent weeks plotting the kidnap and enlisted the help of his colleague after becoming "fixated" with the fact that his niece, Miss Dookhran was dating a Libyan Muslim, when her family believed she should marry a Pakistani, the Old Bailey heard.
A day after Miss Dookhran was ‘pressured’ by her family to end her relationship, Arshid and his accomplice Vincent Tappu, 28, used a tasered and abducted her along with a 21-year-old woman whom Arshid had sexually abused as a child, it was said. Both women were bound, gagged and covered in a dust sheet by the balaclava-wearing pair before being driven to the empty property where Arshid raped both of them and slit their throats with a lock knife, jurors were told.
The second woman, who was badly wounded, managed to escape and raise the alarm after convincing Arshid not to kill her, the court heard. When police went to the six-bedroom house in Kingston-upon-Thames, south-west London, they discovered the body of Miss Dookhran in a padlocked freezer in a utility room. Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors that Arshid had planned to freeze their bodies then dissolve them in acid after resolving ‘if he cannot have them no-one could".
Police discovered that Arshid had carried out internet searches looking for information about the temperature at which the human body freezes. Mr Aylett said: "The defendant had been hatching his murderous plan for several weeks before he actually brought it into effect. If he could not have them, he would make sure that nobody else could either."
Mujahid Arshid has been charged with the rape & murder of 20-year-old Celine Dookhran. A court heard that he kidnapped, raped & cut the throats of two women before putting one of their bodies in a deep freezer. Co-defendant, Vincent Tappu, has been jointly charged. pic.twitter.com/DawK6NadH1
At the time, both women had boyfriends, and Miss Dookhran had moved into Arshid’s home after falling out with her parents, who disapproved of her lover. When she went to live with her uncle, Arshid developed a ‘sexual fixation’ with the pretty Barclays bank clerk and aspiring make-up artist, it was claimed.
Telling jurors to "steel themselves" for the ‘simply horrific’ evidence, he said: "As bizarre as it is terrible, he intended to rape them both before murdering them and disposing of their bodies."
On July 19 last year, Arshid and Tappu carried out their plan, attacking the women in a bedroom. Wearing gloves and balaclavas, they are said to have stuffed socks into the women’s mouths and secured them with tape, then tied their hands and feet together before wrapping them both in a builder’s dust sheet as they bundled the two women into the boot of a car. Arshid is alleged to have driven the women to the empty house where just two days earlier, he had installed a chest-high deep freezer in the three-storey property he was converting to flats.
His captives were tied to pipes in the utility room before being raped in an upstairs bedroom. He then took Miss Dookhran to a bathroom where he cut her throat and put her body in the freezer which he secured with a padlock, the prosecutor said.
He told jurors that Arshid slit the other woman’s throat and cut her chest and stomach before sexually assaulting her as he told her he was a ‘nasty, horrible, evil person’. During her horrific ordeal, he allegedly ordered her to climb into the freezer.
But she managed to convince him to let her go, saying: ‘We know you’re hurting, you can leave us two right now, walk out of that door.’
Arshid then left the house along with the badly wounded woman, who cannot be identified. She was later taken to hospital by his brother, the court heard. Eventually the woman, who had no idea where she was, got hold of a phone to alert her mother.
Meanwhile, Arshid had fled to the Kent coast and was arrested at a Folkestone hotel, the court heard. He still had the key to the padlock used to secure the freezer when he was arrested, it is said.
Arshid, of no fixed address, denies murder, attempted murder, two counts of rape, and two charges of sexual assault.
He and Tappu, from Acton, both deny two counts of kidnapping, two counts of false imprisonment, and possession of a firearm with intent, namely a Taser. The trial continues.