Freezer body murder: Uncle jailed for Celine Dookhran rape and killing

  • 14 February 2018

An uncle has been jailed for a life for kidnapping, raping and slitting the throat of his niece before putting her body in a deep freezer.

Mujahid Arshid, 33, was found guilty of murdering Celine Dookhran, 20, and the attempted murder of a second woman.

Arshid, who will serve at least 40 years in prison, snatched the women in July before taking them to a house in Kingston, south west London.

His co-accused, Vincent Tappu, 28, was cleared of kidnapping charges.

Both defendants were cleared of possession of a firearm with intent for allegedly using a Taser during the abduction, which took place on 19 July 2017.

Arshid has also been convicted of sexual assault charges against the second woman between 2008 and 2010.

Members of Ms Dookhran’s family shouted “yes” when the verdicts were read out.

Arshid reacted by shouting that the surviving victim had “killed them all”, while Mr Tappu – in tears – thanked the jury.

During the trial at the Old Bailey, Arshid told the jury it was “pure coincidence” he had carried out an internet search for “at what temperature does the human body freeze to death” weeks before Ms Dookhran was killed.

The court heard some of his internet searches pulled up information on notorious serial killer John George Haigh, who was convicted in 1949 of a number of murders where he had disposed of the bodies using acid.

Mr Arshid admitted carrying out the search but said it was because he had been wanting to start manufacturing and selling an acid-based product to unblock drains.

He said he was going to call the product “Haigh it’s gone!”, using a pun on the murderer’s name which he described as “funny”.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said Arshid was obsessed with his niece Ms Dookhran, who worked in a bank.

He spent weeks planning to abduct and kill both women in a plot that was as “bizarre as it is terrible”, Mr Aylett said.

The court heard there had been unhappiness in Ms Dookhran’s family about a relationship she was in and that she had been staying at a property occupied by Mr Arshid after leaving home.

The evening before the murder there had been a family meeting attended by Mr Arshid during which pressure was placed on Ms Dookhran and her boyfriend to end their association, jurors heard.

At the empty six-bedroom house in Kingston, Arshid raped both women in turn before slashing Ms Dookhran’s throat in the bathroom.

‘Such a psycho’

The second woman, who cannot be identified, was badly injured but managed to escape after talking Arshid round.

Speaking to police from her hospital bed, she described hearing screams and thuds as Arshid killed Ms Dookhran while she was tied to a chair downstairs.

The woman fought for her life when Arshid turned on her, cutting her throat and wrists.

She told officers: “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’.”

She told the court: “I’m not going to lie, I was scared for my life. I thought, if we get out alive, he cannot get away with this.”

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