A46 car crash murderers sentenced
A TikTok influencer, her mother and a group of associates have been sentenced at Leicester Crown Court for their involvement in the killing of two men on the A46 in Leicestershire.
Saqib Hussain and Hashim Ijazuddin, both 21, were killed when their car was forced off the road in a deliberate collision instigated by Ansreen Bukhari (46) and her daughter Mahek Bukhari (24).
The two planned the attack, along with helpers Rekan Karwan (27), Raees Jamal (23), Natasha Akhtar (23), Ameer Jamal (28) and Sanaf Gullemmustafa (23), after a relationship between Mr Hussain and Ansreen Bukhari ended acrimoniously. The group first lured Mr Hussain, driven by his friend Mr Ijazuddin, to a supermarket car park in Leicester, before pursuing them onto the A46, where they forced the collision that killed both men.
After a three-month trial at Leicester Crown Court, Ansreen and Mahek Bukhari, along with Karwan and Raees Jamal were found guilty of murder. Akhtar, Ameer Jamal and Gulemmustafa were found guilty of manslaughter. An eighth defendant, Mohammed Patel, was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.
They were sentenced today as follows:
- Ansreen Bukhari: Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years and 9 months for two counts of murder
Mahek Bukhari : Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 31 years and 8 months for two counts of murder
Raees Jamal: Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 31 years for two counts of murder, with an additional five years to complete a previous sentence for rape
Rekan Karwan: Life imprisonment with a minimum term of of 26 years and 10 months for two counts of murder
Natasha Akhtar: 11 years and 8 months for two counts of manslaughter
Ameer Jamal: 14 years and 9 months for two counts of manslaughter
Sanaf Gulemmustafa: 14 years and 10 months for two counts of manslaughter.
Arinder Ahmed from the CPS said: “This was a planned, cold-blooded killing, conceived and executed for entirely selfish motives. Rather than face up to the consequences of her affair, Ansreen Bukhari turned to her daughter and put together this conceited plan to silence Mr Hussain.
“Throughout the investigation and trial both mother and daughter have continuously used lies and deceit to try and evade responsibility for these killings. They and the other defendants the two of them recruited have now been held accountable for their criminal actions.
“These defendants showed complete disdain for the lives of Hashim Ijazuddin and Saqib Hussain and have shown little or no remorse for their actions.
“Words cannot describe how the events surrounding the death of Saqib and Hussain have impacted on their families’ lives. One can only imagine how difficult the tragic loss of life for their families and loved ones must be to come to terms with. I hope the end to the court case can now help them with this process.
“I would like to take this moment to offer the families my heartfelt sympathy for their loss.”
Building the case:
To prosecute an allegation of murder, the CPS must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that the defendant or defendants were responsible for the death of the victims and that they intended to kill or cause serious harm. A charge of manslaughter is relevant if an individual’s unlawful actions lead to the death of a victim, but they did not intend or foresee that this would be the outcome. As in many cases, counts of manslaughter were added to the indictment for the jury to consider as an alternative to murder.
The CPS built this case on the basis that the defendants were acting together with the purpose of silencing Saquib Hussain. Raees Jamal and Rekan Karwan were the drivers of the cars involved and the CPS presented evidence that they were following a plan instigated by Mahek and Ansreen Bukhari. All four were part of the events that led to the deaths of Mr Hussain and Mr Izajuddin and they knew the lengths they were willing to go to.
The prosecution’s case was that Natasha Akhtar voluntarily provided her car to be used as part of the plan and Ameer Jamal and Sanaf Gulemmustafa had been recruited to intimidate Mr Hussain. They went to the scene clad in balaclavas and carrying weapons. The jury ruled that this unlawful act contributed to the deaths of Mr Hussain and Mr Ijazuddin, but they had not intended to use lethal force.
The vehicles used by the defendants were traced from the start of their journey to the supermarket car park in Leicester and onward onto the A46.
Mahek Bukhari in particular gave an untrue account that she had intended to travel to Nottingham, but had got lost and gone back home. The evidence of the actual journey exposed this account as a lie.
The defendants claimed they had only seen the site of the crash from the other side of the A46. The CPS presented evidence showing their cars driving in a formation that could only have been an attempt to intimidate the car driven by the victims. The CPS also showed CCTV evidence of the defendants getting out of their cars to inspect the damage to their own vehicles caused by the collision before setting off back down the A46.
The CPS also included a 999 call made by Mr Hussain while the defendants’ cars were in pursuit. This extremely distressing material outlined the way the defendants acted together to cause the collision.
Other evidence used to show the defendants were acting together included phone evidence that showed how regularly they had been in contact before and during the attack. This was despite the attempts of some of the defendants to dispose of their phones to cover up their role that night.
In the early stages of the prosecution, there was limited evidence of the affair between Ansreen Bukhari and Mr Hussain. She initially denied the affair, but as the trial date drew near, evidence was retrieved first from Mr Hussain’s phone account and then from Bukhari’s own device. Both phones contained material that clearly proved the affair and the circumstances that led to the killing.
In this case, there was comprehensive evidence of the involvement of all seven defendants, the contact between them and the reason they gave each other for acting in the way they did. The only arguments they put forward in their defence were lies. The Bukharis and both drivers tried to give different accounts of where they were, and the others claimed they were not party to what was really going on. The evidence presented by the CPS exposed these lies and all seven have now been held to account for what they did.
Notes to editors
- Arinder Ahmed is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS East Midlands
- Ansreen Bukhari (DOB: 15/11/1976): Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years and 9 months for two counts of murder
Mahek Bukhari (DOB: 11/05/1999)i: Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 31 years and 8 months for two counts of murder
Raees Jamal (DOB: 10/05/2000): Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 31 years for two counts of murder, with an additional five years to complete a previous sentence for rape
Rekan Karwan (DOB: 01/01/1994): Life imprisonment with a minimum term of of 26 years, 10 months for two counts of murder
Natasha Akhtar (DOB: 28/03/2000): 11 years, 8 months for two counts of manslaughter
Ameer Jamal (DOB: 27/01/1995): 14 years, 9 months for two counts of manslaughter
Sanaf Gulemmustafa (DOB: 04/03/2000): 14 years, 10 months years for two counts of manslaughter.