Mujahid Arshid will have to spend at least 40 years behind bars for the rape and murder of his niece. How did he ever think he was going to get away with it?
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A builder has been jailed for life for kidnapping, raping and murdering his 20-year-old niece and sexually assaulting a second woman.
Mujahid Arshid, 33, left the body of 20-year-old Celine Dookhran in a chest freeezer at a house in Kingston-upon-Thames, south west London.
Giving evidence Arshid tried to blame the survivor – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – and claimed she killed Celine (pictured, left) after becoming jealous after he had consensual sex with both women.
Arshid ran a building firm and had been hired by the owner of the house, Mohammed Ismail, to convert it into luxury flats.
But it is doubtful now whether anybody will ever want to live at 53 Coombe Lane West.
On July 19 last year Arshid took advantage of a family row to explore his deepest sexual fantasies.
Celine’s mother – who was the sister of Arshid’s wife Aisha – disapproved of Celine’s boyfriend, Omar Khmag, partly because he was from Libya and not India or Pakistan.
Celine had been staying at Arshid’s home in Mitcham, south London, because of the tension but there had been a huge row on the night of July 18 and Celine had threatened to run away.
The following morning Arshid, wearing a ski mask and gloves and armed with a Taser he had bought on eBay kidnapped Celine and the other woman and took them to the house in Kingston.
The survivor, a woman in her 20s, said Arshid raped Celine and then ordered her to climb into the freezer, but then let her out before killing her upstairs.
She said he also tried to get her to get into the freezer, but she refused.
She texted her boyfriend at one point: “Don’t message or call. Or reply. I have been kid booed [sic]. Kidnapped.”
Later she texted her mother: “He’s going to kill me. Don’t reply.”
The survivor said he raped her and Celine, slashing the 20-year-old’s throat in the bath before dragging her body downstairs and dumping it in a chest freezer he had brought to the house two days later specifically for the purpose.
“All I could see was her legs sticking out. I had to act like it was not affecting me,” the survivor told the court.
She said she then managed to talk Arshid out of killing her, saying she loved him and convincing him they could live together once her injuries had healed.
Arshid (pictured) padlocked the freezer before returning home briefly to collect his passport and Pakistan identity card.
The girl escaped and eventually alerted the police.
The killer left his blue Nissan Navara pick-up truck near New Malden station in south west London before catching a train to Dover.
When he was arrested in his hotel room in the early hours of the morning detectives found a mass of evidence, including Celine’s iPhone, the other victim’s Michael Kors wallet and a key which fitted the padlock on the freezer.
When it came to his trial in January and February 2018 Arshid, faced with a mountain of forensic evidence and the testimony of the survivor, was forced to concoct one of the most preposterous defenses ever mounted in a British court.
But his tissue of lies was exposed with brutal professionalism by the prosecutor, Crispin Aylett QC.
Back in 2014 Arshid had been questioned by detectives after an undercover police officer posing as a pedophile chatted with him online about his fantasies of raping the second victim, who was then a teenager. He also sent the undercover officer a photograph of the second victim.
Arshid was never charged because he told officers the chatlog was the work of a laborer, Zahid, who had taken advantage of his generosity when Arshid had given him his internet router password.
Arshid had claimed he had later confronted Zahid, who had admitted writing the chatlog, but by the time the police came to see him he had lost touch with Zahid after falling out with him.
The trial jury heard Arshid assaulted one of the women with a vibrator which he had brought to the house in Kingston, along with condoms and Mr. Aylett probed the similarities with the online sex fantasies.
“So your disgruntled ex-employee, Zahid, apparently had that same fantasy about using a vibrator on (the second victim)?” Mr. Aylett asked Arshid, as he gave evidence in the
“That chatlog is a load of rubbish,” replied Arshid.
“You’re not getting off on this are you Mr. Arshid? Saying as many revolting things as you can about (the second victim)?” added Mr. Aylett.
“No. It’s not that I like saying revolting things. I feel a lot of regret about those injuries she got but I was fighting for my life,” said Arshid, who claimed he had to defend himself when the second victim attacked him with a knife after she killed Celine.
Later Arshid was asked why he had sex – which he claimed was consensual – with the second victim in the house in Coombe Lane West.
“Can I be honest?” Arshid replied, “A man is a man innit. When the prospect of sex comes along a man would drop his pants to do what he has to do. Any man in this court would do that,” he added.
Earlier Arshid claimed he decided to take Celine and the other woman to the house in Kingston so they could “have a nice day out.”
He said he wanted Celine to “calm down” and stop talking about running away.
“She loved my car so it was just a distraction. It was just time out of the house, having a laugh and a joke and forgetting the drama of the night before,” claimed Arshid.
Mr. Aylett (pictured) asked him why they had left in such a rush that Celine did not call her work to explain her absence and was still in her pyjamas when she got in the car.
Arshid claimed it was “no big deal” and said she had brought her clothes with her.
Mr. Aylett then asked him about how he showed the two women how to bypass the electricity meter at the house in Coombe Lane West.
“Did Celine cheer up after you showed her how to bypass the electricity meter?” asked Mr. Aylett, gently mocking the defendant.
“I know it’s not the most exciting thing to do but yes, at that moment were listening to music and having a laugh,” Arshid claimed before he went off on a major rant about the electricity companies without realizing how tactless and damaging it was to his own case.
“All those energy companies steal money from people every day. They commit murder every day. They put their prices up every winter. Old age pensioners die because they don’t have the money. Nobody wants to hold the electricity companies to account. So what’s the problem if somebody wants to take a bit back off them?” ranted Arshid.
Arshid claimed he had consensual sex with the second victim and then, when she went downstairs, and then had intercourse with Celine, but again insisted she gave her consent.
He claimed the second woman then “burst into the room” and “was going crazy.”
“I left them to it and went outside to my truck,” said Arshid, who claimed he returned shortly after to find Celine dead in the bath and the second woman staying over her looking “like a moron”.
The police were alerted about Celine’s disappearance just before 5pm and the trial was told of text messages which Arshid exchanged with his wife Aisha over the next few hours.
At 7.22pm she texted him to say: “You’re not getting away with this.”
“With what?” he replied.
“You f***ing psycho,” wrote Aisha.
At 7.45pm she wrote: “You’ve proved everyone right.”
“Whatever I am you made me. You and those bitches,” replied Arshid.
A minute later, as Aisha pressed him for details of what he had done to Celine, he texted her: “I begged you to let me leave so many times.”
“So you attacked them. And killed Celine” texted Aisha.
“They attacked me,” Arshid replied.
“You just watch,” Aisha warned him.
“A darkness came over me,” Arshid replied.
“Where is Celine…we need to find her. Tell us,” his wife asked him.
Aisha then drove to Kingston but was unable to find the house in Kingston.
At 8.02pm she texted him to ask for the address of the house but he changed the subject and claimed Celine had run away.
At 8.06pm he texted her: “I’ll call you from Pakistan.”
She replied: “Don’t…You’re dead to me.”
“So is Celine apparently?” texted Arshid.
“If only you had let me go when I asked you over and over,” he added.
At around 9.30pm he boarded the train at New Malden and by 11pm he was at the Holiday Inn in Folkestone, not far from the entrance to the Channel Tunnel and the port of Dover.
But his mobile phone was traced by police to a Holiday Inn not far from Dover, where he was arrested.
He was convicted in February 2018 after a trial at the Old Bailey in London and jailed for life, with a minimum of 40 years.