A curry house waiter who murdered his wife and daughters before fleeing the country 12 years ago has been jailed for life.
Mohammed Abdul Shakur, 46, killed 26-year-old Juli Begum and their children Thanha, six, and Anika, five, leaving them in a bed at their home in Nelson Street, East Ham, on New Year’s Day 2007.
Shakur, who was 33 at the time of the offence and an illegal immigrant, was found guilty of three counts of murder on October 31 after a 10-day trial at the Old Bailey.
His sentencing was adjourned following the guilty verdict to find out how much time he spent in custody in India.
At his sentencing at the Old Bailey on Thursday, February 6 it emerged he spent 2,382 days in custody in India and the UK awaiting trial. As a result his concurrent minimum sentence of 40 years for each murder was reduced by six years, six months and six days.
His Honour Judge Richard Marks QC, sentencing, said: It is difficult to find words which adequately convey the sense of outrage that would inevitably be felt by anybody listening to the facts of this case.
This was a vicious, sustained attack on two little girls and on your wife.
He added that weighing just over six stone Juli was no match for a well built, six foot tall Shakur.
He said: It’s difficult to imagine three more vulnerable and defenseless victims.
In the immediate aftermath of the killings you thought only of yourself. You told a tissue of lies as you planned your escape, not having shown one iota of remorse for what you did.
Juli moved to Nelson Street with her mother Karful Nessa in December 2003, leaving Shakur because of tensions in the relationship.
The last time Juli and her daughters were seen in public was in the same street when they were caught on CCTV around Christmas 2006.
Juli’s sister, Sheli, raised the alarm on January 10, 2007, telling police she was concerned she hadn’t seen her sister and nieces since December 31, 2006.
Police searched the Nelson Street home after breaking down the front door. There was no sign of disturbance downstairs, but the door to an upstairs bedroom was open and the curtains closed.
An officer saw a bed and a person’s outline beneath the covers. A Pc Bates used his baton to pull them back revealing Juli lying on her back. Lying across her was Anika, with her head alongside her mummy’s. A white sock was found tightly bound around her neck. Both were clothed but showed no signs of life.
Det Insp Wood from East Ham police station then visited the scene, gently pulling the bedcover back further to reveal Thanha’s lifeless body. She had suffered “catastrophic injuries”, Judge Marks said. The cause of her death was recorded as severe head injury.