Juli Begum murder trial: Jurors told to put emotion aside as they decide who killed East Ham mum and two children
PUBLISHED: 12:41 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:41 30 October 2019
A jury has been told to put emotion aside when reaching a verdict at the trial of a man accused of murdering his wife and children.
The bodies of 26-year old Juli Begum and her daughters Thanha, six, and Anika, five, were found under a bedcover together at their home in Nelson Street, East Ham, on or around New Year's Day 2007.
Juli's estranged husband, curry house chef Mohammed Abdul Shakur, who was 33 at the time of the offence and an illegal immigrant, left the UK in the days following the deaths and was extradited from Bangladesh in April this year.
At the Old Bailey on Wednesday, October 30 Judge Richard Leon Marks QC told the jury: "Please put emotion entirely to one side. Inevitably, the killing of a young woman and her two young children in any circumstances is bound to evoke considerable feelings and there is a temptation to say to yourselves, 'Somebody must pay for this'.
"But it is unhelpful and you must please ignore that side of matters completely and decide the case by calm and cool, logical, rational, dispassionate analysis of the evidence."
The jury heard Juli had moved to Nelson Street with her mother, Karful Nessa, and daughters in December 2003, leaving Mr Shakur because of tensions in the relationship sparked in part by arguments around his immigration status.
Judge Marks told the jury it would be important to look at some of the details of the defendant's movements from January.
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Telephone evidence shows Mr Shakur was at Nelson Street on January 1, 2007. There was also a call made to Juli's GP the same day.
Evidence shows that on January 2 Mr Shakur went to the Bangladeshi mission to renew his passport. He had said his father was unwell and he had to return to the country.
The judge said: "As the prosecution say, the timing of the defendant's departure to Bangladesh in the immediate aftermath of the killing of his wife and two children is no mere coincidence.
"Never did he attempt to make contact with authorities here to assist with the investigation into the killing of his wife and children."
The jury heard Mr Shakur, now 46, paid £340 for a one way ticket to Bangladesh, departing from Heathrow on January 5.
During this time Juli's sister Sheli tried to contact her. On January 10 she contacted the police who went to the house and made the "grim discover", jurors heard.
Officers discovered Juli, Thanha and Anika murdered with blood found on the carpet, jewellery missing and no sign of disturbance, the court heard.
Judge Marks said: "There is no dispute Juli and her daughters were murdered. Was it this defendant who killed them or was it some other person?" Mr Shakur did not enter the witness box. He denies three counts of murder. The trial continues.