Two women 'kidnapped, raped and throats cut' by 'fixated' builder

An "obsessed" builder kidnapped, raped and then cut the throats of two young women, leaving one of them dead in a freezer at a disused house, a court has heard.

For weeks, Mujahid Arshid, 33, planned to abduct and kill "attractive" Celine Dookhran, 20, and another woman, after becoming enraged they had boyfriends, the Old Bailey heard.

Opening his trial at the Old Bailey, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said it was a "simply horrific" case.

He said Arshid had become "sexually fixated" with the women, and resolved "if he cannot have them no-one could".

On the evening of Tuesday July 18, Ms Dookhran, who worked at Barclays Bank in Mitcham, south west London, was put under pressure to split up with her boyfriend Omar because he was from Libya, and not Pakistan.

The next morning, Arshid put his plan into action to kidnap both women, taking clothes so it might appear they had simply run away, the court heard.

Wearing balaclavas and gloves and armed with a taser, Arshid and his accomplice Vincent Tappu allegedly snatched and bundled them into a pick-up truck, bound and gagged.

Arshid drove them to a six-bedroomed house he was renovating in south west London between Wimbledon and Kingston where he had already installed a chest-height freezer in preparation, the court heard.

He then raped both terrified women and slashed them with a lock knife, having abandoned his earlier plan to let them freeze to death, jurors were told.

The surviving woman, who cannot be identified, had pleaded with him to let them go, saying: "We know you're hurting, you can leave us two right now, walk out of that door."

But according to her account, Ms Dookhran screamed as she was killed by Arshid in the bathroom of the house.

Afterwards, Arshid allegedly told her: "I'm this close to slitting your wrist and getting this rope and tying it round your neck and just killing you here right now."

The woman described how Arshid initially told her Ms Dookhran was "sleeping", before he attacked her too, slashing her neck, chest and stomach, the court heard.

As she lay seriously injured, Arshid sexually assaulted her again and said: "How are you still breathing? You should have seen Celine when I cut her neck, there was so much blood, oh my God," the court heard.

The woman eventually managed to talk Arshid around and he confessed to being a "nasty, horrible, evil person", the court heard.

She also raised the alarm by texting her boyfriend and mother, saying "He's going to kill me. Don't reply," the court heard.

Mr Aylett told jurors: "As extraordinary and appalling as the defendant's behaviour had been, it appears that he now came to his senses."

Having decided against killing her, Arshid took her to meet his brother, telling him them were going to be "running away together", the court heard.

Instead, the brother took her straight to hospital, as she looked like a "ghost" and had been "brutally cut", jurors were told.

Officers went to the house and discovered the body of Ms Dookhran in a padlocked freezer in a utility room.

Her mouth was stuffed with a sock and she had died from the combined effect of restricted airways and loss of blood.

Meanwhile, Arshid fled to the Kent coast and was arrested at a hotel in Folkestone, the court heard.

Arshid, of no fixed address, and Tappu, 28, of Spencer Road, Acton, west London, deny the charges against them.

Arshid is accused of 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.

He is jointly charged with Tappu of both women's kidnap and false imprisonment, and possession of a firearm with intent.

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