Shopkeeper beheaded in 'ritual execution'

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The Independent Online
A YOUNG man was bound, gagged and beheaded in a ritual-style execution and his remains dumped on roadsides in the town where he lived, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

The head of Khalid Dad, 22, of Slough, Berkshire, was only discovered when a car hit a plastic bag which spilt its contents on to the road. His torso was found by a caretaker wrapped up outside a primary school.

Michael Lawson, QC, for the prosecution, said although the motive for the killing was unknown and the murder weapon never found, one of three members of a neighbouring family accused of the murder had been seen shortly before the attack to be carrying a large ornamental sword.

Mr Dad ran a supermarket with his two brothers, and regularly delivered groceries to the home of Majid Syed, 60, of Slough, who, with his sons Kauser Jafri, 21, and Moddessir Jafri, 24, is charged with murder. His sons also knew the deceased, Mr Lawson said.

He said that on the night of 20 January this year, Mr Dad's car was seen parked outside Mr Syed's house, but he had not returned home.

The next morning, the caretaker of a primary school found a large bundle on the pavement outside the school.

Mr Lawson told the jury: 'It was a pink candlewick bedspread wrapped around a form which looked like the crouched form of a human being.

'The bedspread contained the naked body, apart from his underpants, of Khalid Dad. He had been tied with rope of the washing-line type on the wrists and ankles.'

Mr Lawson said that near by a postman had seen a black plastic rubbish bag lying by the side of the road with red liquid beside it. He had thought it was simply rubbish.

'Shortly after 8am a car driving down the road hit the bag, and the bag and its contents were taken some distance down the road. In the course of that, the head came out of the bag and came to rest in the gutter.

'A post-mortem examination showed that Khalid Dad had been beheaded with one single blow.

'He had probably been struck from behind, the blow coming down, severing the neck and the instrument cutting the right-hand side of the chest from the shoulder down in a near-vertical line,' Mr Lawson said.

'It appears from the line of the cut that he was probably in a kneeling position leaning forward.

'There were a number of bruises and wounds which suggested he had been forcibly restrained and beaten with a blunt instrument about the head,' he said.

'There was clear evidence of gags having been tightly tied around the mouth and the nose, to the extent that he almost asphyxiated.'

Mr Lawson said police searched Mr Syed's house and discovered blood stains on the walls and floor. In an upstairs loft in two plastic bags were the victim's blood-stained clothes and also blood-stained clothes belonging to the defendants.

Also found in the bags were pieces of foam cut from the dining-room sofa, which were apparently used to soak up the blood.

Mr Lawson said other evidence was found in a son's car and in a bonfire in the backyard.

The trial of the three men, who each deny murder, continues today.