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Four decades behind bars for ‘evil’ builder who raped and murdered his niece

Mujahid Arshid is guilty of kidnap, murder, attempted murder, rape and sexual assault of the surviving victim when she was 13.

An “evil” builder has been jailed for at least 40 years for 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.

Arshid was was found guilty of kidnap, murder, attempted murder, rape of both women and sexually assaulting the surviving victim when she was 13.

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

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Arshid kidnapped, raped and cut the throat of Celine Dookhran (Met Police/PA)

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

Mr Justice Edis said Arshid was an “extremely dangerous man” as he handed him four life sentences.

He said: “He has no insight at all into the way other people perceive him. He believes he is the centre of the world.”

The judge dismissed as “absurd” his defence that the surviving woman was responsible for the killing.

He hailed the “intelligent and resourceful” way she had fooled Arshid into letting her go by pretending she loved him.

In a victim statement, the woman said she and Ms Dookhran had been “inseparable”.

She described Arshid as a “sick” and “evil” man whose actions had left her scarred for life and suffering flashbacks.

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Ms Dookhran's family said her future had been stolen from her (Met Police/PA)

She said: “Hearing the helpless screams and seeing the fear in Celine’s eyes that day. The terrifying visions and muffling sounds will never go away.”

Ms Dookhran’s mother Iman Naeem said her beautiful caring and funny daughter had fallen victim to “pure evil”.

The Old Bailey 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.

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A Government of Pakistan National Identity card in name of Mujahid Arshid, which was shown to the jury (Met Police/PA)

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 Barclays trainee Ms Dookhran moved into Arshid’s house, she also got “dragged into his warped yearnings”.

In the weeks leading up to the killing, he bought a freezer and was inspired by acid bath killer John George Haigh, who was hanged in 1949 for murdering six people.

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A set of including a key to a locked padlock for a chest freezer at Coombe Lane West (Met Police/PA)

With the help of an accomplice, he bound and gagged the women and bundled them into his pick-up truck.

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 told officers: “He said: ‘Now you’ve got 10 minutes to live and your body will shut down.’

“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’.

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.”

As the woman recovered in hospital, Arshid was picked up at a hotel in Folkestone in Kent.

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

But jurors heard Ms Dookhran had a sock stuffed in her mouth and the knife that cut her throat had also sliced through tape wound around her head.

Labourer Vincent Tappu, 28, of Acton, west London, was acquitted of helping to kidnap the women and of possessing a Taser with Arshid.

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