Woman texted ‘he’s going to kill me’ after kidnapping, court told
Mujahid Arshid, 33, and his alleged accomplice Vincent Tappu, 28, deny the charges against them.
A young woman texted her mother to say “he’s going to kill me” as she desperately tried to raise the alarm after an obsessed builder abducted her and a friend to satisfy his sexual fantasies, a court has heard.
Mujahid Arshid, 33, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of the kidnap, rape and murder of his niece Celine Dookhran, 20, and the attempted murder of a second woman.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, the survivor said Ms Dookhran was wearing her blue Barclays work uniform when they were snatched and taken to an empty house in Kingston, south-west London, on the morning of July 19 last year.
Arshid bundled them into his pick-up truck wearing a balaclava, glasses and pyjamas with the help of an accomplice, who also hid his face and wore gloves, the court heard.
Over the course of the day, Arshid allegedly went on to molest both women and cut their throats, dumping Ms Dookran’s body in a freezer at the property he was renovating.
The second woman told jurors: “When eventually I got hold of a phone, my first instinct was to call someone for help.”
She texted her boyfriend from an old mobile phone, saying: “Don’t message or call. Or reply. I have been kid booed (typo). Kidnapped.”
Later that afternoon, she also sent her frantic mother the message: “He’s going to kill me. Don’t reply,” the court heard.
In a police interview video, the woman had described talking Arshid out of killing her, after hearing screams and thudding as he allegedly slit Ms Dookhran’s throat in a bathroom at the six-bedroom property.
Speaking to officers from her hospital bed, the woman said she had promised Arshid she loved him and they could be together.
She told officers: “He brought Celine down in a bag, picked her up and put her into the chest freezer. All I could see was her legs sticking out. I had to act like it was not affecting me.”
The woman said she spent a week in St George’s Hospital and had two operations, as she recovered from knife wounds.
Arshid, of no fixed address, and his alleged accomplice Vincent Tappu, 28, of Spencer Road, Acton, west London, deny the charges against them.
Arshid, of no fixed address, denies 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.
Along with Tappu, he has also pleaded not guilty to both women’s kidnap and false imprisonment, and possession of a firearm with intent.
Cross examining, Judith Khan QC said the defendant denied sexually abusing the surviving woman when she was aged 13.
She said: The defendant’s case is you were never sexually abused by him and there was never any sexual abuse of you when you were under age.”
The witness said: “That’s a lie.”
On one occasion, Ms Khan suggested the woman had tried to kiss Arshid and he responded by telling her it was “not appropriate”.
The woman said: “No no no I didn’t do anything like that.”
She asked for a break and returned to court sobbing.
Mr Justice Edis called a halt to her cross examination and addressed the visibly shaken woman in the witness box.
He said: “Everyone knows it’s not easy. Are you okay? I can see that you are not. Can you manage to deal with it or would you like to stop now?”
The woman continued to weep but nodded towards the senior judge.
He adjourned her evidence until Tuesday morning, telling the young woman: “This process is not going to go on forever, I promise you and when it’s over, it’s over.”