Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton deaths: Coroner casts doubt over hammer murder case

Tabussum Winning Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption Tabussum Winning is believed to have been the partner of the man whose body was found in the bin

Police are to review a suspected murder-suicide case after a coroner voiced doubts the killer acted alone.

Bedfordshire police believe Tabussum Winning killed her Luton flatmate Adim Baba with a hammer before dumping him in a wheelie bin and killing herself.

But while an inquest concluded Mr Baba, 49, was unlawfully killed, an open verdict was returned by coroner Ian Pears in Mrs Winning's case.

Mr Pears said he could not be sure she disposed of Mr Baba's body alone.

Mrs Winning, 34, was found hanged inside Mr Baba's Essex Close flat, in October 2016.

But it was more than a week before a neighbour found Mr Baba's body stuffed in the wheelie bin outside his flat.

The inquest at Ampthill Coroner's Court heard Mrs Winning, who rented a room in Mr Baba's home, had a "complex life".

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Bedfordshire police initially thought they were dealing with a double murder at the property in Luton

Originally from Pakistan, Mrs Winning had had a "marriage of convenience" with husband Brian, before having a baby by Yasin Nasir 17 days before her death, the court was told.

The inquest heard her baby was born by Caesarean section and, as a result of the procedure, she would have struggled to lift Mr Baba's body into the wheelie bin.

Mr Pears said he could not be sure she acted alone and was not fully satisfied Mrs Winning's death was suicide.

He said he would be writing to police asking why it did not pick up on the death of Mr Baba until a week after Mrs Winning's body was discovered.

'Tragic outcome'

After the hearing, Bedfordshire police said in a statement: "Following detailed enquiries we concluded that Tabussum Winning had murdered Adim Baba and disposed of his body, before committing suicide.

"While we believe that no other people were involved in either death, we will be reviewing our evidence in light of the coroner's ruling and comments."

Detectives initially arrested a man in connection with the deaths but he was released and told he faced no further action.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating how the initial inquiry was handled by Bedfordshire police.

In response to that ongoing probe, the force said: "While it is unfortunate that Mr Baba's body was not discovered until the following week, the reality is that by the time Tabussum Winning's body was found, Mr Baba was already dead.

"An earlier discovery would sadly not have made any difference to the tragic outcome of this case."

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