NEWS
14/02/2018 17:22 GMT

Mujahid Arshid Guilty Of Kidnap, Rape And Murder Of Niece Celine Dookhran

‘Psycho’ builder jailed for at least 40 years.

A “psycho” builder has been jailed for at least 40 years after being found guilty of abducting, raping and cutting the throats of two young women, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

Mujahid Arshid, 33, hatched his murderous plot after becoming fixated with his 20-year-old niece, Celine Dookhran, and the surviving victim, who cannot be identified.

In July last year, he attacked them at a house he was renovating in Kingston, south-west London, and stuffed Ms Dookhran’s body in a freezer.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Arshid was was found guilty of murder, attempted murder, rape of both women and their kidnap.

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Celine Dookhran.

He was also convicted of sexually assaulting the surviving victim when she was 13.

As he was convicted after 14 hours of deliberations, Ms Dookhran’s family shouted: “Yes.”

Arshid ranted in the dock, saying: “The (survivor) killed all of them. She’s lied to you.”

The woman wept in court, but appealed for others to remain calm and hold back their emotions.

Labourer Vincent Tappu, 28, of Acton, west London, who also stood trial, was acquitted of all charges against him, and Arshid was acquitted of possessing a Taser.

The court had heard that Arshid had a festering obsession with the surviving victim dating back to when she was a child.

When she complained about his sexual abuse, her family had not believed her, jurors heard.

Four years before the murder, Arshid revealed his rape fantasy involving the same woman in a web chat with an undercover police officer.

During their explicit exchanges, he said: “These kind of girls deserve rape – lol.”

When confronted by police, Arshid blamed an employee for using his computer and the case was dropped.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors that, after Ms Dookhran moved into Arshid’s house, she also got “dragged into his warped yearnings”.

The Barclays bank worker had confided in her boyfriend that she found him “creepy” and a “pervert”.

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Court artist sketch of Vincent Tappu (left) and Mujahid Arshid in the dock of the Old Bailey.

In the weeks leading up to the killing, he carried out research on the internet and was inspired by acid bath killer John George Haigh, who was hanged in 1949 for murdering six people.

Arshid bought a freezer for the Kingston house to hide the bodies so they would not be found until long after he had fled the country.

He seized his opportunity when Ms Dookhran’s family tried to force her to split from her boyfriend, leaving her “distraught”.

He raped both women in turn at the Kingston house before slashing Ms Dookhran’s throat in the bathroom.

The second woman was badly injured but managed to escape by 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.

She 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.”

Afterwards, Arshid had a furious WhatsApp row with his wife, Aisha Kalyansingh, who demanded to know where her niece was.

The defendant told her “a darkness came over me” and claimed the surviving woman had planned it with him.

Arshid said he was running away and would be in touch when he reached Pakistan, but Ms Kalyansingh told him: “You’re dead to me.”

He was picked up at a hotel in Folkestone in Kent, still in possession of the padlock to the freezer.

PA Wire/PA Images
Celine Dookhran.

Giving evidence, he claimed the surviving woman killed Ms Dookhran in a fit of jealousy after he had consensual sex with both of them.

He claimed she was injured when she attacked him too and they struggled over the knife.

But an examination of Ms Dookhran’s body was at odds with his account.

She had a sock stuffed in her mouth and the knife that cut her throat had also sliced through tape wound around her head.

Mr Aylett added that her injuries were identical to those delivered to the surviving woman, which could not have been inflicted during a struggle.

Tappu denied involvement in the kidnap and appealed to the victim’s family as he gave evidence.