Wembley man accused of murdering Marylebone woman is a ‘practised and extremely competent liar’, court hears
- Credit: Archant
A Wembley man accused of murdering a wealthy women and draining around £1 million of her assets was a “practised and extremely competent liar”, a court has heard.
Carole Waugh, 49, from Marylebone, regarded Rakesh Bhayani, 41, of Chamberlayne Avenue, as a friend, even visiting him in prison and lending him £40,000, the Old Bailey was told.
He and Nicholas Kutner, 48, from Kentish Town, described to the court as professional conmen with gambling habits, deny murdering Miss Waugh, who was said to be lonely and looking for love in the months before her death.
Concluding his opening statement, prosecutor Patrick Gibbs QC said of Bhayani: “He has lied repeatedly and convincingly, that’s what he does for a living and what he has done all his life.”
Miss Waugh disappeared from her home last year.
She was last seen in mid-April and her remains were found three and a half months later.
As soon as Miss Waugh was dead, a number of women were used to impersonate her, the court previously heard.
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It is alleged that at Bhayani’s instigation, the defendants - who had met in prison - also pretended to be Miss Waugh.
Money kept in various bank accounts was emptied into a Barclays current account and then taken out of there, Mr Gibbs said, while payments for gold bullion worth tens of thousands of pounds were made.
A third defendant, Elie Khoury, 40, of Spring Street, Paddington, faces a charge of conspiracy to defraud, which he denies.
Mr Gibbs told jurors they came to know one another as Khoury’s brother had been in prison with Bhayani.
After he was arrested last August Khoury told police they were both gamblers, and knew Bhayani as being “all about fraud”, the court heard.
He told officers he knew Bhayani used to get money from Miss Waugh, and that all of a sudden he started getting much more.
He claimed Bhayani has asked him if he knew any women between the ages of 45 and 60 who would go with him to the bank to get money out and told police he said he would help but never intended to. The court heard he also claimed to have no knowledge of what else Bhayani was up to, but Mr Gibbs said prosecutors disputed this claim.
He said that after Kutner was arrested he refused to answer any questions put to him by police.