Double murderer who hid bodies in freezer must serve at least 38 years

A double murderer has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 38 years after killing two women and storing their bodies in a freezer in his flat.

Convicted paedophile Zahid Younis, 36, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday of murdering Hungarian national Henriett Szucs, 34, and mother-of-three Mihrican "Jan" Mustafa, 38.

Ms Szucs had been kept inside a small, padlocked, chest freezer in Younis's flat in Vandome Close, Canning Town, in east London for two and a half years when her body was discovered on April 27 last year.

Ms Mustafa is believed to have been strangled to death by Younis days after she went missing in May 2018 and her body stored in the same grim hiding place.

Younis, known as "Boxer", admitted putting the women in the freezer and pleaded guilty to two counts of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body.

He denied two counts of murder but was found guilty of both charges by a jury after 16 hours and six minutes of deliberations.

A door to a cupboard in the home of Zahid Younis where police found two bodies stored in a freezer (Metropolitan Police/PA)
A door to a cupboard where police found two bodies (PA)

Younis showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out, while members of Ms Mustafa's large family, who attended every day of the three-week trial, said "yes" in the public gallery.

Her older sister, Mel Mustafa, said: "Thank you God, thank you."

Ms Szucs' mother, Maria, who is in Hungary and could not attend court, said in a statement: "Henriett was a beautiful, kind young woman and nobody deserves to be killed in such brutal circumstances."

Younis refused to leave his cell to be sentenced as the judge, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, jailed him for life with a minimum term of 38 years and warned he may never be released.

"It will surprise no one in this room that the defendant has declined to attend his sentence, while he sits in the cells below, but I will address these remarks to him so when he has the courage to read them he will understand why the court has reached the conclusion it has," she said.

"You are an arch-deceiver and you spent a lifetime destroying lives."

The judge said: "You have preyed upon the vulnerable with superficial charm.

"You have been convicted by the strong prosecution case.

"Not only were the bodies of two women found in your home, hidden in a locked freezer purchased for that purpose, they showed signs of violence which you failed to explain."

The judge said Younis had "robbed" his victims of "all happiness in life and dignity in death", and said: "You have no remorse."

Mihrican Mustafa ((Family/PA)
Mihrican Mustafa ((Family/PA)

"You are a heartless man and a narcissist.

"Your concern throughout has been for yourself."

Younis married a 14-year-old girl in an Islamic ceremony at a mosque in Walthamstow, east London, in 2004.

He was eventually jailed for two and a half years for assaulting the teenager and unlawful sexual activity with a child and was put on the sex offenders' register.

Younis was later sentenced to four years and 11 months imprisonment for two counts of wounding and one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following an abusive relationship with a 17-year-old girl, which started in 2007 after his release from jail.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC told jurors at his double murder trial both Ms Szucs and Ms Mustafa were "vulnerable women living somewhat chaotic lives", including periods of homelessness and class A drug addiction.

The court heard Younis bought a freezer for £169.99 in cash from a branch of Curry's shortly after killing Ms Szucs "for the sole purpose" of concealing her body.

Mr Penny said police had gone to his flat to look for Younis when a uniformed officer found the appliance surrounded with flies in a cupboard before prying it open with a crowbar.

The victims had been subjected to "very significant violence" and suffered injuries consistent with kicking or stamping, Mr Penny said.

Henriett Szucs (Family/PA)
Henriett Szucs (Family/PA)

They had both suffered numerous rib fractures, while Ms Szucs had sustained "dreadful" head injuries and Ms Mustafa's sternum and larynx had been fractured.

Younis claimed he was out when Ms Szucs died at his flat and did not tell police because he was "panicking".

He told jurors he did not kill Ms Mustafa and did not know how she died.

Younis said he paid a man to help him get Ms Szucs' body into the freezer and that his accomplice later blackmailed him into putting Ms Mustafa's corpse in the same place.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, of the Metropolitan Police, told the PA news agency: "Zahid Younis is a particularly dangerous and what I would describe as a repugnant individual who preys on vulnerable women in particular and abuses them, brings them into his control and causes them significant injury."

He said Younis had shown no remorse as he subjected his victims' families to a trial, adding: "They have been incredibly brave throughout this entire ordeal.

"It is an ordeal in court listening to his lies.

"It is hard to listen if you are a family."

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