Jury retires in trial of man accused of murdering Canan Mustafa in ‘bodies in freezer’ case

A jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the trial of a man accused of murdering two vulnerable women and storing their bodies in a freezer in his flat in Customs House, East London.

Zahid Younis, 36, is accused of murdering Hungarian national Henriett Szucs, who slept rough in Ilford, and mother-of-three Mihrican Mustafa, a British Turkish Cypriot also known as Mary Jane.

Ms Szucs, 34, was last seen in August 2016 and 38-year-old Ms Mustafa in May 2018.

Their bodies were found in Mr Younis’s flat in Vandome Close in April 2019. Police had been sent there to investigate after Mr Younis was reported missing.

The women’s bodies were found after officers forced open a padlocked freezer inside a cupboard. The freezer was surrounded by flies and with items stacked on top of it.

The jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court heard that the women had been subjected to “very significant violence” before their deaths and had fracture injuries associated with kicking or stamping.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC said the women had numerous rib fractures. Ms Szucs had also suffered “dreadful” head injuries, and Ms Mustafa’s sternum and larynx had been fractured.

The prosecutor said Mr Younis had bought the freezer a short time after the death of Ms Szucs “for the sole purpose” of concealing her body.

The court heard that, between their deaths and the discovery of the bodies, there were periods when the electricity supply to the flat had been cut off, causing the bodies to start to decompose.

Mr Younis admits putting the women in his freezer, but denies double murder. He has previously pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of both women.

The jury retired on Friday afternoon, 28 August, after the three week trial to consider its verdict on the murder charges.