Boyfriend in court on murder charge after woman’s body found in suitcase

·2-min read
Hina Bashir was found dead last seen alive on July 11 (Met Police)
Hina Bashir was found dead last seen alive on July 11 (Met Police)

The boyfriend of a young woman, whose body was found in a suitcase days after going missing, has appeared in court accused of her murder.

Muhammad Arslan, 26, appeared at the Old Bailey charged with murdering Hina Bashir, 21, who was reported missing from Ilford on July 14.

He spoke only to confirm his name, identity and nationality before being remanded into custody.

Ms Bashir was last seen alive on July 11. Three days later, her worried father in Pakistan contacted her employer at Queen Mary University in London, where she worked part-time for a security company.

Ms Bashir had not turned up for work that day and her employer raised the alarm after visiting her home.

On July 17, her decomposing body was found in a foetal position inside a large suitcase dumped in a small ditch in Folkes Lane, Upminster.

The discovery was made by police officers using a sniffer dog, who followed tracks on a grassy verge consistent with suitcase wheels.

Mr Arslan was charged with her murder the following day.

A post-mortem examination has yet to make a preliminary finding on the cause of Ms Bashir’s death.

Ms Bashir, a Pakistani national, had come to live in the UK in November last year on a student visa. She had been studying business management at Coventry University London.

She had been in a relationship with Mr Arslan, who came from the same village in Pakistan and had moved to Britain around six months ago.

Judge Mark Dennis QC set a plea and case management hearing for October 5.

A provisional three-week trial date was set for June 5 2023.

Scotland Yard have issued an appeal for further information.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams said: “We are continuing our work to develop a full understanding of what happened to Hina, not just in recent days but in the weeks prior to this terrible incident.

“I know that Hina hadn’t been in the UK for too long. I would urge anyone who may have known her to come forward. Any information that you hold could be important to the investigation.”

Chief Superintendent Simon Crick, who leads the police unit that covers Upminster, said: “I know that local people will be distressed to hear that another woman has lost her life in a shocking and violent incident in east London. My deepest condolences go out to Hina's family at this incredibly difficult time.

“I will be engaging with local community leaders to offer my support and to reassure them that we are doing all we can to keep our communities safe.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101 quoting the reference 2674/14JUL or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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