London

Man guilty of murdering wife and daughters in East Ham in 2007

Juli Begum and Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Shakur murdered his wife and their two children before fleeing to Bangladesh immediately afterwards

A chef has been found guilty of murdering his estranged wife and two children 12 years ago.

Mohammed Abdul Shakur, 46, killed Juli Begum, 26, and his two young children Anika and Thanha Khanum at their east London home on New Year's Day 2007.

Shakur, who was extradited from Bangladesh in April, had a history of rape and violence against his wife, the Old Bailey was told.

He had denied three counts of murder and will be sentenced on Friday.

The three bodies were found at the family home in Nelson Street, East Ham, on 10 January after Ms Begum's sister raised the alarm, the court heard.

Anika, five, had been strangled with a white sock after being "stunned" by a punch or slap to the face, while her six-year-old sister suffered severe blows to the face that fractured her skull.

Their mother was believed to have been smothered with a soft pillow or cushion.

'Act of cowardice'

Officers found little cash in the house and Ms Begum's wedding jewellery was missing.

Shakur, who had been in debt, was traced on CCTV walking with Ms Begum and his daughters from and to Nelson Street on January 1.

Days later, he fled to Bangladesh to evade justice, the court heard.

The court heard how the couple had an arranged marriage in Bangladesh when Ms Begum was 19 and that after Shakur moved to London on a spousal visa, he became violent towards her and they separated.

Shakur worked at Indian restaurant in Frimley, Surrey, was paid cash in hand and allowed to live above his work, jurors were told.

He sent money to his family in Bangladesh while Ms Begum lived on child benefits, prosecutors said.

Following the conviction, Ms Begum's family said: "Abdul Shakur has destroyed our family. Shakur's final act of cowardice was fleeing to Bangladesh.

"This meant justice took so long to be delivered, it was something our mother never got to see."

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