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London builder was inspired by acid bath killer

  • Mujahid Arshid, 33, was allegedly inspired by an infamous acid bath killer
  • Arshid plotted to abduct, rape and murder his niece and another young woman
  • Celine Dookhran, 20, found stuffed into a freezer with throat cut at a house
  • He discovered serial killer John George Haigh’s methods of disposing of bodies
  • Laptop examination showed he had searched ‘can a human body freeze to death’

Rod Ardehali For Mailonline

Obsessed builder Mujahid Arshid, 33, was 'inspired' by an infamous acid bath killer as he plotted to abduct, rape and murder his niece and another young woman, a court has heard

Obsessed builder Mujahid Arshid, 33, was 'inspired' by an infamous acid bath killer as he plotted to abduct, rape and murder his niece and another young woman, a court has heard

Obsessed builder Mujahid Arshid, 33, was ‘inspired’ by an infamous acid bath killer as he plotted to abduct, rape and murder his niece and another young woman, a court has heard

A builder who raped and murdered his niece told his second victim ‘I knew I should have just finished it with you as well’ as she escaped, a court heard.

Mujahid Arshid, 33, told the woman ‘I am not good for you, I am a nasty horrible evil man’ before he struggled to put Celine Dookhran, 20, inside a freezer.

Arshid is accused of Tasering and kidnapping Ms Dookhran, 20, and the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with the help of Vincent Tappu, 28, on July 19.

The pair were bound and gagged before being taken to a house Arshid was working on in Kingston-upon-Thames, in south west London

Once there Arshid raped both women before slitting Miss Dookhran’s throat and dumping her body in a chest-high deep freezer he had installed two days earlier, the Old Bailey heard.

He then slashed the other woman’s neck but she managed to survive, and convinced him not to attack her further, it was alleged.

She later raised the alarm from hospital and gave details of the house, leading officers to discover the body of Miss Dookhran in the freezer.

Arshid by then had fled to Folkestone, Kent, where he was later arrested in a Holiday Inn.

Speaking from her bed at St George’s hospital in Tooting, south London, with bandages on her arms, the survivor relived her ordeal in a taped interview played in the trial.

Ms Dookhran’s relatives sobbed in court as the woman told police: ‘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.’

In July last year, he snatched Celine Dookhran (left) and another young woman with the help of labourer Vincent Tappu (right). Barclays bank worker Ms Dookhran, 20, was found stuffed into a freezer with her throat cut at a house Arshid was renovating

In July last year, he snatched Celine Dookhran (left) and another young woman with the help of labourer Vincent Tappu (right). Barclays bank worker Ms Dookhran, 20, was found stuffed into a freezer with her throat cut at a house Arshid was renovating

In July last year, he snatched Celine Dookhran (left) and another young woman with the help of labourer Vincent Tappu (right). Barclays bank worker Ms Dookhran, 20, was found stuffed into a freezer with her throat cut at a house Arshid was renovating

In July last year, he snatched Celine Dookhran (left) and another young woman with the help of labourer Vincent Tappu (right). Barclays bank worker Ms Dookhran, 20, was found stuffed into a freezer with her throat cut at a house Arshid was renovating

In July last year, he snatched Celine Dookhran (left) and another young woman with the help of labourer Vincent Tappu (right). Barclays bank worker Ms Dookhran, 20, was found stuffed into a freezer with her throat cut at a house Arshid was renovating

She described how Ms Dookhran screamed as she was tasered by Arshid’s accomplice before they were bundled into the back of his pick-up truck in July last year.

‘I just looked at her and said “don’t say anything, don’t scream or anything.”

‘I think his aim was to make it look like me and her had run away. We had socks in our mouths and tape.

‘There was lots of music on so any noise we were making they could not hear it anyway.

‘He drove like a maniac. We were being thrown around in the back.’

When they reached the disused property between Kingston and Wimbledon in south west London, the two women made a survivor’s pact.

‘I said to her if one of us gets out, this is what we are going to do. I said “co-operate, the more you scream and shout the more he is going to hurt you.”

‘He took me upstairs into the bedroom and my hands were taped and he fully raped and molested me and got a sex toy. I was screaming in a lot of pain.

Following his arrest at a Holiday Inn in Folkestone, police examined Arshid's laptops and found pictures of both victims. Internet searches included 'chest freezers for sale', 'at what temperature does the human body freeze' and 'can a person freeze to death'.

Following his arrest at a Holiday Inn in Folkestone, police examined Arshid's laptops and found pictures of both victims. Internet searches included 'chest freezers for sale', 'at what temperature does the human body freeze' and 'can a person freeze to death'.

Following his arrest at a Holiday Inn in Folkestone, police examined Arshid’s laptops and found pictures of both victims. Internet searches included ‘chest freezers for sale’, ‘at what temperature does the human body freeze’ and ‘can a person freeze to death’.

‘When he was finished he took me downstairs, took her up, raped, molested her, brought her down and said get into the chest freezer.’

The pair tried to reason with Arshid, the witness said: ‘We just started talking to him, saying “put the knife down, let’s talk. We understand your pain” – we tried to relate to him.

‘I know for a fact if we had a little more time, she would be alive as well.

‘We said “leave us, you can walk out of that door. You will be free and we will not say a word to anyone.”

‘He taped me up into a chair, my legs were tied, my hands were tied. He took (Ms Dookhran) up and that was the last I saw her. I could hear her screaming. There was a thumping, a thud thudding, and then there was no more noise.

‘I just literally sat there thinking “what can I do, what can I do.”‘

Afterwards, Arshid ordered her to get into the freezer but the woman wedged her body and claimed she could not fit in, she said.

Celine Dookhran

Celine Dookhran

Celine Dookhran's family arrive at the Old Bailey on Monday

Celine Dookhran's family arrive at the Old Bailey on Monday

Left, Celine Dookhran and right, her family arrive at the Old Bailey on Monday afternoon

The defendant allegedly told her Ms Dookhran was ‘sleeping’ but the woman saw her body wrapped up in the bathroom “out of the corner of the eye.”

‘I said “no no no we need to talk” – I started fighting, I grabbed him, kneed him down below. He did not flinch at all. I grabbed his face. I grabbed the knife.

‘He started to slit me everywhere. I got my neck slit, my wrists.

‘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 me 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”.’   

Later, the witness said she managed to grab a mobile phone and raise the alarm while Arshid was outside and convinced him to leave the house.

John George Haigh: The Acid Bath Killer

The English serial killer was  convicted for the murder of six people, although he claimed to have killed nine. 

He battered or shot his victims to death and used concentrated sulphuric acid to destroy their corpses before forging papers so he could sell the victims’ possession.

During the investigation, it became apparent that Haigh was using the acid to destroy victims’ bodies because he misunderstood the meaning of the term corpus delicti – mistakenly believing that  if the bodies could not be found, a murder conviction would not be possible

She was rescued by Arshid’s brother who saw her in the back of the pick-up and took her straight to hospital, the court heard.

On the defendant’s motivation, the woman said: “Knowing he cannot have us, I thought if he finished us two, then no-one else can have us. It doesn’t make much sense but in his head it made sense.” 

A post-mortem examination found Ms Dookhran had tape wrapped around her mouth and a sock rammed inside, reducing her ability to breathe.

She had three cuts to the neck, slicing through her voice box.

She died from the combined effect of loss of blood and obstruction to the airways. 

The woman deed: ‘Literally my clothes were soaked. I said we cannot run away like this.’

Referring to Miss Dookhran, the woman said: ‘He was trying to put her body into the freezer.

‘She couldn’t bend her arms or legs for obvious reasons. All I could see was her legs outside the freezer, and my heart…I felt sick.

‘He was like, “I can’t get the freezer to close, Celine come on, bend your legs”.

‘He bent them so her legs were folded into the freezer.’

She said he shut the freezer and padlocked it.

The woman added: ‘I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t show any emotions. I had to be careful with what I was doing as well.

‘I peered out because I heard he was struggling.

‘I looked over and just saw her legs out. It looked like he put her in face first, like chest first.’

She said they made a plan to run away and she added: ‘We were driving down. I just pretended nothing happened. I was trying to distract him.’

She said they met Arshid’s brother, who asked if she wanted help, and she went straight towards him.

Arshid then told her: ‘I knew I should have just finished it with you as well.’

Arshid, of no fixed address, and Tappu, of Acton, west London, both deny two counts of kidnap, two counts of conspiracy to falsely imprison another, and possessing a firearm with intent.

Arshid also denies murder, attempted murder, two counts of rape, sexual assault and assault by penetration.

Arshid (right) and Tappu (left) are depicted here in a court sketch at from the Old Bailey today

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