Detective describes how Custom House murderer Zahid Younis lived ‘pattern of lies’

Zahid Younis has been found guilty of murder. Picture: Met Police

Zahid Younis has been found guilty of murder. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Met Police

Double murderer Zahid Younis lived a life that was “a pattern of lies”, the detective in charge of the investigation has said.

Younis, 36, was found guilty of murdering Canning Town mum-of-two Mihrican Mustafa, also known as Mary Jane, and Hungarian national Henriett Szucs, who had been sleeping rough in Ilford.

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: “He is a person who uses drugs and would manipulate and lie to people to get money.”

Ms Szucs had last been seen in August 2016 and Ms Mustafa in May 2018. Their bodies were found in a padlocked freezer with flies swarming around it at Younis’s flat in Vandome Close, Custom House, in April 2019.

The grim discovery was made by a uniformed police officer who had only gone to the flat in search of Younis after he had been reported as missing.

DCI Harding said the freezer was forced open by one of the officers on “an old-fashioned police hunch” about what was inside it.

He said: “He broke open the freezer and discovered what could only be seen, at the time, as only one body.

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“It actually took the freezer being taken away and X-rayed for it to be seen there was another body underneath that. It was a gruesome discovery for the officers.”

The “horrendous scenes” faced by his team, who are trained for their jobs, is nothing compared to the “bravery” of the victims’ families whose ordeal has spanned, not just their loved ones’ disappearance and killing but now also this court case, he said.

Members of Ms Mustafa’s large family have been at the trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court every day and Younis showed no remorse as he denied murdering them.

DCI Harding said: “It is incomprehensible to imagine what the families are going through.

“They have been incredibly brave throughout this entire ordeal. It is an ordeal in court listening to his lies. It is hard to listen if you are a family member to hear what he is saying about your daughter, sister or mum.”

DCI Harding described Ms Szucs as someone who had been in abusive relationships before and was then preyed upon by Younis.

She moved in with him and Younis denied having a long-term relationship with her but “we have shown that she was really in love with him in her own way,” DCI Harding said.

“She wrote him letters that we found. Unfortunately to him, she did not mean anything.

“She was just another person that he was abusing physically and mentally, resulting in her death 10 months after she met him.”

Younis waited a year before he told anybody including the police or prosecution exactly what his defence was. He waited until all the evidence had been served.

Then he came up with his “story” which included blaming someone as having helped him put the bodies in the freezer even though they were in prison at the time, DCI Harding noted.