A man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering his 20-year-old British-Indian niece has claimed that she was killed by her friend in a jealous row. Mujahid Arshid, a British-Pakistani builder, is also accused of kidnapping, raping and attempting to kill the 21-year-old British-Indian ‘friend’ whom he claimed was behind Celine Dookhran’s murder.
During the trial at the Old Bailey, Arshid admitted stabbing the surviving woman “out of fear for his life” but said he did not rape or kidnap either of them, nor did he murder Dookhran.Dookhran’s body was found stuffed in a freezer at an empty property in Kingston, London, on July 19, 2017. Arshid claimed he took both the women to Kingston “for a nice day out to give them a break and to let them get some air”. As per his defence story, the second woman went “mad” with anger when she found him sleeping with Dookhran. He claimed he later found the woman upstairs in the bathroom holding a knife and blood on her hand. According to the prosecution, 33-year-old Arshid and a labourer named Vincent Tappu, 28, kidnapped Dookhran and the second woman and took them to an empty property in Kingston where Arshid raped both, murdered Dookhran and tried to kill the other.
Arshid admitted causing injuries to the second woman but said he did not intend to kill her. “When you are fighting for your life you do whatever you have to do. Unless you are in that situation where you have got someone who is trying to kill you, you can’t say,” he told the jury.
Arshid also admitted owning a taser. He said it was because of security concerns about the area he lived in. “At that time I didn’t realise it was classified as a firearm. eBay does not sell guns so why would ebay sell a firearm – it makes no sense.” As for owning two balaclavas, he said these were “names others had given it” and they were both ski masks he had bought from a sports shop to avoid dirt and dust getting in his lungs during building work.