Court hears murdered businesswoman from Marylebone worked as an amateur escort

Carole Waugh

Carole Waugh - Credit: Archant

Two men from Wembley and Kentish Town are accused of killing Carole Waugh

A wealthy businesswoman from Marylebone claimed to have been murdered by two professional conmen and lifelong gamblers worked as an amateur escort, a court heard.

Rakesh Bhayani, 41, of Chamberlayne Avenue, Wembley, and Nicholas Kutner, 48, from Kentish Town, are accused of killing 49-year-old murdering Carole Waugh.

Her body was found in the boot of a car in a lock-up garage in New Malden, south London last August.

She was stabbed in the neck and is believed to have been killed on April 16 or 17.

Jurors at the Old Bailey heard Miss Waugh lived alone in a flat just off the Edgware Road.

Patrick Gibbs QC, prosecuting, said: “She wasn’t married; she didn’t have a steady boyfriend. She was, it seems, a lonely woman on the lookout for male company.

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“She didn’t have a regular job, she had done a number of jobs in the past, including having worked as an accounts clerk in Libya, in the oil industry, some years before, which she plainly had enjoyed, and about which she spoke a lot - sometimes, you may think, in rather exaggerated terms.

“She owned her flat, it was worth more than £600,000, she had savings, shares, jewellery, of which she was proud, and a cash income from working as an amateur escort.”

The court heard in the last 18 months of her life Miss Waugh met a lot of men through adult work, calling herself Sam.

Her user name on a website was posh totty fun, and she wrote that she was not a professional, but an enthusiastic amateur, offering a true girlfriend experience, and interested in good clean adult fun.

Men who had sexual intercourse with her, and paid her for it, described her as being less interested in the money than the company.

Mr Gibbs told the court that both men were professional conmen and lifelong gamblers who met in prison and had a history of conning people.

He added: “They had a taste for grand and expensive things. Both were gripped by the same compulsion, to gamble.

“As soon as Miss Waugh was dead, a number of women were used to impersonate her.

“At Bhayani’s instigation, they pretended to be Miss Waugh, on the telephone to banks, in shops, buying things.

“They were rehearsed by Mr Bhayani, nursemaided by Mr Bhayani and usually accompanied by Mr Bhayani around London, and on the telephone, stripping Carole Waugh’s assets.”

Mr Gibbs told the jury that the women would not be before them in the trial, which would focus on the murder and concealment of the murder.

Miss Waugh had known Bhayani for quite a while, visited him in prison, and lent him £40,000, Mr Gibbs said.

“It seems that she had been intimate with him at one time or another in the past,” counsel added.

“She may have first met him through an advertisement of herself as an escort that she had placed on the internet.

“Like everyone else that has met Mr Bhayani, she was taken in by him.

“She thought that he was her friend, but you may decide by the end of this trial that Mr Bhayani doesn’t really do friends.

“Once he had been released from prison, knowing how much she had, he planned that she should die.”

Mr Gibbs said Miss Waugh was killed for the money she had - and also the money she was owed.

Among Bhayani’s debts was £40,000 to Miss Waugh, and he had no legitimate way of paying it.

Miss Waugh had threatened to expose him to his wife and daughter.

“They appeared to have been in the dark about the life he was actually living, when he came out of prison, swanning around in a Range Rover. They thought he was in a residential centre, addressing his gambling addiction.

“He was routinely unfaithful to Mrs Bhayani, but if she was to snap, and say enough is finally enough, he would lose his young daughter.”

Mr Gibbs said neither Bhayani nor Kutner was a “natural born killer” - they are conmen - but they were desperate because of their gambling habits.

There were two Cartier bracelets still on her dead body. “They were hard to remove, needed a screwdriver, probably they were a bit squeamish about it,” he said.

Bhayani denies murder but admits perverting the course of justice by concealing the death and also conspiracy to defraud.

Kutner denies murder and perverting the course of justice by concealing the death, but admits conspiracy to defraud.

Elie Khoury, 40, from Paddington, denies conspiracy to defraud.