Bhayani, 41, was convicted at the Old Bailey on 27 November 2013. He had previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to defraud. Nicholas Kutner, 48, was convicted of perverting the course of justice and had already pleaded guilty to conpiracy to defraud.
A Mr Khoury, 40, was acquitted of conspiracy to defraud.
Ms Waugh was an escort and met Bhayani through that work. The court heard that she considered Bhayani a friend and had visited him in prison. The prosecution stated that there had been an intimate relationship between the two at one point in the past.
Ms Waugh was stabbed in the neck in her central London flat. Thereafter, her body was hidden.
Ms Waugh had lent Bhayani about £40,000. An estate agent who gave evidence at the trial stated that in addition to that sum, Bhayani also owed him £17,000.
It appeared that after murdering Ms Waugh, Bhayani attempted to create the impression that she was still alive by sending text messages from her phone. These included messages to the estate agent, arranging to meet in order to hand over money owed. At the last minute, a message from Ms Waugh’s phone would be sent to the estate agent explaining that she could not attend and she had sent her friend (Bhayani) instead.
Bhayani told the estate agent that Ms Waugh had moved out of London in order to care for her sick mother. Thereafter, there was suspicious activity around Ms Waugh’s bank accounts and the police began to investigate. Ms Wuagh’s flat was fraudulently leased and cleared of all her belongings before attempts were made to sell it. Applications for bridging loans and remortgage were made in the sums of £250,000 and £400,000. It is presumed that these were not successful, judging by the descriptions in the news reports.
The news reports state that Bhayani was accused of taking £1m of her assets.
Bhayani had rented a lock up garage in south west London. When the garage was eventually searched, a VW Golf was found inside, inside which was Ms Waugh’s decomposed body.
The BBC reported: Det Ch Insp Justin Davies said after the case: “Bhayani is a confidence trickster who murdered her with the sole intention of stripping her assets and the belongings she had worked hard for.
Bhayani was sentenced to life imprisonment (the only sentence available) with a minimum term of 27 years. This means that he will not be eligible to apply to the parole board for release until the minimum term has expired.
The starting points are explained here. In this case, it is likely that the starting point was 30 years as this was a murder done for gain.
The sentencing remarks are available here. We may update the post once we have had the opportunity to digest them and there is something worth commenting on.