Student Hina Bashir 'suffocated with face mask' and 'dumped in a suitcase' by 'obsessed...
HomeHome > News > Student Hina Bashir 'suffocated with face mask' and 'dumped in a suitcase' by 'obsessed...

Student Hina Bashir 'suffocated with face mask' and 'dumped in a suitcase' by 'obsessed...

Mar 19, 2023

6 June 2023, 16:50

By Kit Heren

A female student died after being suffocated with a face mask, with the killer then dumping her body in a suitcase, a court has heard.

Hina Bashir's killer Muhammad Arslan was "obsessed" with her followed her to the UK from Pakistan, prosecutors claim.

Arslan, 27, has admitted manslaughter at the Old Bailey but denied murdering Ms Bashir, 21, who was studying business management in London, and pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Ms Bashir went missing after visiting Arslan at home in Ilford, east London, last July.

The two grew up in the same village in Pakistan, and Arslan followed her to the UK after she moved to study at the University of Coventry in November 2021.

Ms Bashir went to warehouse worker Arslan's house on the evening of July 11, 2022, and did not leave the property alive, prosecutor Gareth Patterson told jurors on Tuesday.

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Mr Patterson said: "The next morning, the defendant set off from his house, dragging behind him a suitcase containing Hina Bashir's dead body.

"He got a lift from a taxi driver who lived in his house and travelled to an industrial estate by the M25 near Upminster, near a business where he was employed as a warehouse worker.

"He got out of the taxi and dragged his suitcase to the side of a lane where he hid it in some undergrowth. He left the suitcase concealed there in the days that followed."

Friends and family raised the alarm after she went missing, and police found the suitcase with her body stuffed inside.

Mr Patterson told jurors: "On examination, the pathologist found that a face mask had been pushed inside her mouth. It was found there balled up.

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"As for the cause of her death, Hina Bashir had been killed through asphyxia. The facemask that was forced into her mouth had stopped her from breathing."

Police found "a wealth" of evidence linking Arslan to the killing, including the victim's blood being found on his bed and bedclothes.

Officers found matching face masks at his house, and discovered that Arslan had Ms Bashir's phone and was looking at her messages and photographs in the hours after her final visit.

The taxi driver confirmed he drove Arslan with his heavy suitcase to the industrial estate the next morning, the court was told.

CCTV footage captured Arslan leaving his house with the suitcase and then later dragging it along the lane to where it was eventually discovered, Mr Patterson said.

In addition, Arslan's DNA was identified on the suitcase handle and soil from the deposition site was found on his shoes.

Mr Patterson said: "The defendant was later to insist to the police that there was no relationship between the two of them, however when the police translated the materials found on his phone they found that he had been repeatedly in contact with her, declaring his love for Hina Bashir.

"The police also found on his phone a very large number of photographs of Hina Bashir, some of them having been 'photoshopped' or altered using software or apps.

"They found pictures of her on which love hearts had been added and they found collages that had been created of her image. The evidence suggests that he was obsessed with her."

In more recent messages from 2021, Arslan appeared to be trying to contact Ms Bashir by posing as a woman, it was claimed.

Arslan also described Ms Bashir as his fiancee, Mr Patterson said.

Mr Patterson added: "However, it appears Hina Bashir did not want to be with him and in fact had a relationship after she came here with another young man."

The trial before Judge Richard Marks KC is expected to continue for two weeks.

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