Father who killed wife and children guilty of east London murders from 2007

|News, Violent crime

A father who killed his wife and two young children before fleeing the country 12 years ago has been found guilty of murder.

Chef Mohammed Shakur, 46, killed his wife Juli Begum, 26, and their two daughters Thanha, six, and Anika, five, before fleeing to his native country of Bangladesh. He was arrested for separate crimes in India in 2013 and in one of the first extraditions from India he was brought to the United Kingdom at the end of that sentence. Earlier this year, he was extradited  to face charges of murdering his family in 2007. Following a trial at the Old Bailey, he was today (Thursday, 31 October) found guilty of three counts of murder.

Juli had secured Shakur’s arrival to the UK in 2000 but he had immigration difficulties thereafter. To worsen matters, his job in an Indian restaurant in Frimley, Surrey, paid poorly and he did not contribute to his family. The relationship soured between the couple and they spent most of their time apart, sometimes years.

Shakur was estranged from his wife and children and had been living elsewhere at the time of the killings. The situation reached a head in 2007. Shakur was in the country illegally, borrowing money and sleeping at the homes of friends. He took the decision to enter his family’s Poplar home, and murdered them leaving their bodies in their beds. Evidence showed Juli was likely to be smothered, Anika was strangled and Thanha had suffered a number of head injuries.

CCTV, phone evidence, a complex history of financial worries and difficulties over Shakur’s immigration status all built up a picture of Shakur’s actions. Ultimately, this led the police on a hunt back to Bangladesh and then India where he had fled. Shakur had also confessed to his cousin about the crime he was running from.

Samantha Yelland, from the CPS, said: “This has been a long drawn-out pursuit for the truth, which has finally brought about the successful conviction of a ruthless killer.

“Despite the complicating features of this case, such as shared DNA between the family, the prosecution was able to prove that it could only be Shakur who was behind the murders. Shakur was a known heavy-smoker and ash was also found at the scene.

“The tragedy of this case is on a scale beyond belief. Shakur believed he could escape justice by fleeing to Bangladesh and then India. The hard work of all criminal justice partners involved ensured he faced the consequences of his actions.

“Nothing can bring this mother and these young girls back to their family. Shakur now has to accept his punishment. Hopefully today’s conviction brings some sense of closure to what has been a 12-year search for justice for the victims and those who loved them.”

Notes to editors

  • Mohammed Shakur [DOB: 14/10/1973] is from Bangladesh
  • Samantha Yelland is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the homicide team on CPS London North.

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