‘Psycho’ uncle ‘inspired by serial killer’
A builder accused of raping and murdering his niece before hiding her body in a freezer was inspired by a serial killer who dissolved his victims in acid baths, a court has heard.
Jurors were told how Mujahid Arshid, 33, came across the crimes of John George Haigh as he searched for ways to dispose of the body of 20-year-old Celine Dookhran, who died after being sexually assaulted and having her throat slashed in July last year.
When police traced Arshid to a Holiday Inn in Folkestone and seized his laptops, they discovered he had searched online for "human cremation", "butchering the human carcass", and "acid bath murderer".
Crispin Aylett QC told the Old Bailey that a Google search eventually led the builder to a Wikipedia page about Haigh, who was hanged in 1949 for murdering six people and disposing of their remains in different ways.
He said Arshid was "inspired" by Haigh to set up a new Google email address [email protected], and viewed a YouTube video entitled "Woman cut throat".
Officers were able to find Ms Dookhran – who had tape wrapped around her mouth and a sock stuffed inside, with three cuts to the neck slicing through her voice box – after another woman involved in the ordeal gave information from her hospital bed.
The court heard how Arshid had allegedly enlisted the help of 28-year-old labourer Vincent Tappu to kidnap both of them by bundling them into the boot of his pick-up truck.
They were said to have been bound and gagged as he drove them to a six-bedroom southwest London home he was renovating, and upon arrival they were raped and had their throats cut.
The surviving woman only managed to escape after tricking Arshid into thinking they could be together, and she told the court the "psycho" builder had told her she had "10 minutes to live" after killing her friend.
Ms Dookhran's family wept in court as the survivor recounted her experience from her hospital bed, with bandages on her arms.
In a police interview, she said they were abducted by Arshid and his Taser-wielding accomplice and described hearing screams and thuds as Barclays worker Ms Dookhran was killed.
When Arshid turned on her, the witness – who cannot legally be identified – allegedly told him: "No, no, no we need to talk."
She told the court: "I started fighting, I grabbed him, kneed him down below. He did not flinch at all. I grabbed his face. I grabbed the knife. He started to slit me everywhere. I got my neck slit, my wrists.
"He said 'now you've got 10 minutes to live and your body will shut down'. I was trying to play dead.
"He molested Celine's body while she was dead and then he molested me thinking I was dead. He's such a psycho. I sat up and he said 'how have you got so much energy?' I was covered in blood from head to toe. I was swimming in it.
"I started saying things he wanted to hear – 'I love you, we can run away together, we can be happy together, we can have a family.'
"He said 'I'm not good enough for you, look what I have done'."
The woman managed to raise the alarm and was rescued by Arshid's brother, who saw her in the back of his truck and took her to St George's Hospital in Tooting.
She later told police where they could find 5ft 3in tall Ms Dookhran, who died from a loss of blood and obstruction to the airways, a post-mortem found.
Arshid, of no fixed address, and Tappu, of Spencer Road, Acton, west London, deny kidnap, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with intent.
More from UK
Arshid has also pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder, rape of both women and the previous sexual assault and assault by penetration of the surviving woman when she was about 13.
The trial continues.