Jury retires in trial of Custom House man accused of murdering women and hiding bodies in freezer

The bodies of Henriett Szucs and Mary Jane Mustafa were found in a freezer in Custom House. Pictures

The bodies of Henriett Szucs and Mary Jane Mustafa were found in a freezer in Custom House. Pictures: Ellie Hoskins and Ayse Hussein. - Credit: Archant

A jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the trial of a Custom House man who is accused of murdering two vulnerable women and storing their bodies in a freezer.

Zahid Younis, 36, also known as Boxer, is accused of murdering Hungarian national Henriett Szucs, who slept rough in Ilford, and mother-of-two Mihrican Mustafa, also known as Mary Jane.

Ms Szucs, 34, had last been seen in August 2016 and 38-year-old Ms Mustafa in May 2018.

Their bodies were found in Mr Younis’s flat in Vandome Close in April 2019. Police had been sent there to investigate after Mr Younis was reported missing.

The women’s bodies were found after officers forced open a padlocked freezer.

The jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court heard that the women had been subjected to “very significant violence” before their deaths and had fracture injuries associated with kicking or stamping.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC said Mr Younis had bought the freezer a short time after the death of Ms Szucs “for the sole purpose” of concealing her body.

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The women had numerous rib fractures, while Ms Szucs had also suffered “dreadful” head injuries and Ms Mustafa’s sternum and larynx had been fractured, Mr Penny said.

Mr Younis admits putting the women in his freezer but denies double murder. He has previously pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of both women.

Mr Younis accepts that Ms Szucs died at his flat but insists he had been out at the time and later found her dead.

He said he did not tell police there was a dead woman at his home because he was “panicking”.

Mr Younis also said he did not kill Ms Mustafa and does not know how she came to die.

The defence say there is no convincing evidence that Mr Younis killed or was present when either woman died and the case against him is circumstantial.

Mr Younis said he had paid a man he knew to help him get Ms Szucs’ body into the freezer, only for this man to later blackmail him into also putting Ms Mustafa’s body in the same place.

Ms Mustafa was already dead when he was confronted by this man to hide her body, according to Mr Younis.