A builder who kidnapped, raped and murdered his niece appeared to admit he knew she was dead during a furious WhatsApp row with his wife while on the run from police, a court heard.
Jurors at the Old Bailey were told how 33-year-old Mujahid Arshid had become "sexually fixated" with Barclays bank worker Celine Dookhran.
He is alleged to have enlisted the help of labourer Vincent Tappu to kidnap the 20-year-old and another young woman by bundling them into the boot of his pick-up truck in July last year.
They were said to have been bound and gagged as he drove them to a southwest London home he was renovating, and upon arrival they were raped and had their throats cut.
While the other woman – who cannot legally be identified – was able to escape after tricking her attacker into believing they could be together, the body of Ms Dookhran was stuffed into a chest-high freezer at the empty property between Wimbledon and Kingston.
When Arshid's wife demanded to know where their niece was on WhatsApp, Arshid initially told her: "How do I know. She's the one that ran off."
She replied: "You would stoop that low. You're the p***y."
Arshid then said: "Whatever I may be, you made me. I'll call you from Pakistan."
But when his wife told him not to and that he was "dead to me", he retorted: "So is Celine apparently."
The message exchange was read out by prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC as he outlined the case against Arshid, who was arrested after being traced by police to a Holiday Inn in Folkestone.
The surviving woman had earlier been able to provide officers with information to lead them to the house where the attack had taken place, telling them from her bed at St George's Hospital in Tooting: "Please go to the address and get (Ms Dookhran) out of the freezer."
She also expressed fear the defendant might kill others he came across, the court heard.
Ms Dookhran's cold body was found covered in a dust sheet with "several toes poking out from underneath" after officers forced the freezer open with a crowbar. They seized the keys to the padlock from Arshid when they arrested him.
When he was formally charged by police, Arshid told them to "look at the evidence and keep an open mind".
Tappu, 28, was also arrested and denied any knowledge of the alleged attacks.
He allegedly told officers: "You lot are completely wrong, I don't know what's happened."
Mr Aylett told jurors that Tappu went on to tell police a "pack of lies" about his dealings with Arshid on the day of the kidnapping, with both men denying the charges against them.
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Arshid, of no fixed address, is accused of murder, attempted murder, rape of both women and a previous sexual assault, and assault by penetration of the surviving woman when she was about 13.
Tappu, of Spencer Road, Acton, west London, is jointly charged with Arshid of both women's kidnap and false imprisonment, and possession of a firearm with intent.