…By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
An obsessive man named Muhammad Arslan, 27, has been sentenced to jail for suffocating 21-year-old student Hina Bashir with a face mask during a fit of jealousy.
After Bashir visited Arslan’s shared flat in Ilford, east London, in July of the previous year, Arslan forced a floral patterned mask into her mouth before disposing of her body in undergrowth inside a large suitcase.
Elaborate Claims and Rejected Explanations
Arslan claimed that his intention was only to silence Bashir after confronting her about explicit photographs of herself that he had received.
However, the prosecution dismissed his explanation as “elaborate and concocted,” asserting that his actions stemmed from anger and jealousy, leading to Bashir’s death.
Conviction and Denial
While Arslan admitted to the charge of manslaughter on the first day of his trial, he denied the charges of murder and perverting the course of justice by concealing Bashir’s body.
Nevertheless, a jury at the Old Bailey found him guilty of all charges on Wednesday.
A Tale of Unrequited Love and Fantasy
During his testimony, Arslan claimed that he had been friends with Bashir since she was 11 years old, and their friendship had eventually turned into a romantic relationship.
However, due to cultural reasons, they could not openly acknowledge their connection.
Arslan admitted that it was a “fantasy” to consider Bashir his fiancée, but he still desired a relationship with her.
A Sentencing Reflecting the Severity of the Crime
Judge Richard Marks KC handed down a life imprisonment sentence to Arslan, with a minimum term of 20 years for murder and an additional five years for perverting the course of justice.
The judge stated that Arslan’s unrequited feelings for Bashir had overwhelmed him, leading him to force the facemask into her mouth, resulting in her asphyxiation and death.
Lies, Concealment, and Callous Disposal
The judge also highlighted Arslan’s “prime motivation” to save himself after killing Bashir, noting his subsequent “campaign of lies” to conceal his actions, deceiving everyone he encountered.
Arslan disposed of Bashir’s body in a “shocking and callous manner.”
A Father’s Grief and Accusations
Bashir’s father, Bashir Khan, provided an impact statement read out in court, expressing his profound anguish.
He stated that Arslan had treated his daughter in a heinous and brutal manner, asserting that even animals would have treated her better.
Early Connections and Rejected Advances
The court learned that Arslan and Bashir had grown up in the same village in the Faisalabad district of Pakistan.
Allegedly, when Bashir was 11 years old, Arslan began befriending her through text messages.
Arslan expressed his delight at having found his “princess” living nearby.
However, Bashir rejected his advances and had boyfriends in both Pakistan and the UK, where she had moved to study business management at Coventry University’s London campus in November 2021.
The Pursuit and Tragic End
Arslan followed Bashir to the UK, enrolling at the University of Essex for a master’s degree and working part-time in a warehouse.
On the evening of July 11 of the previous year, Bashir and two female friends visited Arslan’s flat to retrieve some of her belongings.
However, Bashir never emerged from the flat, and her friends had to leave without her. She was never seen alive again.
Obsession, Deception, and Tragic Discovery
After killing Bashir, Arslan placed her body in a suitcase in the bedroom he shared with a friend, where it remained overnight.
He then spent hours going through Bashir’s private messages and photographs on her phone.
The prosecution stated that Arslan subsequently carried the suitcase containing Bashir’s body to an industrial estate near Upminster, hidden in undergrowth alongside a lane by the M25 motorway.
Lies, Investigation, and Unveiling the Obsession
Arslan deleted his contacts from Bashir’s phone, lied to the police about her disappearance, and inquired about traveling to Northern Ireland and Birmingham after the murder.
An examination of his phone revealed his intense obsession with Bashir before and after she arrived in the UK.
Numerous photographs of Bashir, including collages with added love hearts, were discovered on Arslan’s phone.
An Obsession Turned Fatal and Justice Served
Following Arslan’s conviction, Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams highlighted Arslan’s obsession with Bashir, describing a relationship that existed only in his mind.
The investigation made it clear that Arslan couldn’t bear the rejection when Bashir didn’t reciprocate his feelings, tragically leading to her death.
The detective expressed satisfaction that the jury reached the same conclusion, and his thoughts remained with Bashir’s grieving family and friends as they coped with an unimaginable loss.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn