A TikTok influencer of Pakistani heritage and her mother were convicted of engineering a fatal vehicle crash that killed two young men, The News International reported. The jury reached the verdict after 28 hours of deliberation in a three-month trial at Leicester Crown Court. The victims "Saqib Hussain and Hashim Ijazuddin, both 21" died when their car was rammed off the road in February 2022.
Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Mahek Bukhari, a 24-year-old TikTok influencer, set up a trap for Saqib Hussain by inviting him to a meeting under false pretences. Prosecutors stated that this was in response to Hussain's threats to divulge an affair he had with Mahek Bukhari's mother, Ansreen Bukhari, according to The News International.
Saqib calls 999, moments before crash
The court heard that the victim's car was pursued by two vehicles driven by fellow defendants Rekhan Karwan and Raees Jamal. The pursuers rammed the victim's car, causing it to split in two and catch fire upon hitting a tree. The front-seat passenger, Saqib Hussain, made a desperate 999 call moments before the crash, in which he pleaded for help as the assailants tried to force their car off the road.
The jury also found Rekhan Karwan and Raees Jamal guilty of murder, while Natasha Akhtar, Ameer Jamal, and Sanaf Gulamustafa were convicted of manslaughter. Another co-accused, Mohammed Patel, was found not guilty, The News International reported.
The families of the victims expressed their grief in statements, emphasising the senselessness of the act that had taken their loved ones away. The judge, Timothy Spencer KC, warned the defendants that the sentences would be severe. The sentencing is scheduled for September 1st.
According to Leicester police, when the murder investigation was launched, it was established that one of the victims, Saqib Hussain had been in a relationship with Ansreen Bukhari, Mahek Bhukari's mother for around three years. Enquiries showed that Ansreen Bukhari had decided to end the relationship with Hussain, but Hussain could not accept this. This led to him allegedly making threats to tell Ansreen Bukhari's husband about the affair and to share sexual images and videos of Ansreen Bukhari, according to Leicester police.