A TikTok influencer who was jailed alongside her mother for the murder of two men who died during a 100mph car chase allegedly played board games, shared laughs with fellow defendants and waved at reporters during her trial.
Social media creator Mahek Bukhari, 24, and her mother Ansreen Bukhari, 46, hatched a plot to silence the mother’s toyboy Saqib Hussain after he threatened to expose his affair with her by leaking their sex tape.
Hussain was killed in a 100mph fireball crash alongside his friend Hashim Ijazuddin, both 21, after their Skoda was deliberately rammed off the A46 dual carriageway near Leicester by balaclava-wearing assailants in two pursuing cars on February 11 last year.
Today as he passed down sentencing at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Timothy Spencer KC said the 999 call heard was ‘one of the most moving and distressing pieces of evidence ever heard in court’.
Mahek, the ringleader, wiped away tears as she was handed a minimum of 31 years and eight months and described by the judge as ‘self obsessed’. Her mother will serve a minimum of 26 years and nine months.
The emotional display was a stark contrast to the vibrant persona she showed throughout her trial. She was ‘smiling and laughing’ during quieter parts of the trial and casually played games when the jury retired, the BBC reported.
Mahek even blew a kiss to her father and told him ‘call me’ as she was taken down to serve life in prison alongside her mother.
Mahek Bukhari and her mother, both of Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, had denied two counts of murder
Mahek Bukhari, 24, was said to have taken part in the ‘ambush’ after Mr Hussain threatened to use sexually explicit material to expose a long-running affair he had with her 46-year-old mother Ansreen
Saqib Hussain (pictured), 21, was killed after having an affair with Mahek’s mother Ansreen Bukhari. In a 999 call moments before his death, which was played to the court, he said: ‘They’re trying to kill me, they’re trying to kill me. I’m just getting rammed off the road’
Mr Hussain’s friend, driver Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin (pictured), also 21, was in ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’ as he was killed when the pair were forced off the road by Bukhari and her associates
Mahek Bukhari (left) and her mother Ansreen Bukhari (right)have been found guilty of the murders of Saqib Hussain and Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin in a high-speed car chase in February 2022
Judge Spencer told Mahek she had an exaggerated sense of entitlement, saying: ‘You are oblivious to the damage you do.’ Before her arrest 18 months ago, Mahek, now aged 24, had boasted of having more than 126,000 followers on TikTok and a further 43,000 on Instagram.
He continued: ‘The prosecution categorised this as a story of love, obsession and extortion and in that they were right. They were also right in categorising this case as one of cold-blooded murder.’ He said the pair had caused a deadly ‘maelstrom.’
Mahek was said to have taken part in the ambush after Mr Hussain threatened to use sexually explicit material to expose a long-running affair he had with her mother Ansreen.
The daughter then lied to police in a desperate attempt to escape justice, giving a rambling account of witnessing a traffic accident in which she squared the blame at two other vehicles.
Fellow defendant Rekhan Karwan, 29, and Raees Jamal, 23, have also been sentenced to life. Karwan has received a minimum term of 26 years and 10 months – 362 days on remand will be deducted.
Raees Jamal is currently serving a rape sentence – a detail which could not be revealed until sentencing had concluded.
TikTok influencer Mahek Bukhari (right) and her mother Ansreen Bukhari (left) have been found guilty of murder
The remaining defendants have been sentenced for manslaughter including Natasha Akhtar, 23, who was jailed for 11 years eight months, Ameer Jamal, 28, was sentenced to 14 years eight months imprisonment, and Sanaf Gulamustafa, 23, will be imprisoned for 14 years nine months.
The victims, both 21 and from Banbury in Oxfordshire, were in a Skoda chased by Audi and Seat vehicles containing the eight defendants.
The court was told Mr Ijazuddin’s Skoda Fabia ‘split in two’ and caught fire after hitting a tree at the Six Hills junction in the early hours of February 11 last year.
Mahek Bukhari and her mother, both of George Eardley Close, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, had denied two counts of murder.
Prosecutors said Mr Hussain was ‘lured’ into meeting with the Bukharis in the Tesco car park in Hamilton, Leicester, on the pretence of giving him back the £3,000 he said he had spent on taking his lover out during their tryst.
But Ansreen and Mahek arrived at the arranged meet-up along with the six others in two vehicles, an Audi TT and a Seat Leon.
Fellow defendants Rekhan Karwan (left) and Raees Jamal (right) were also found guilty of two counts of murder
(Left to right) Natasha Akhtar, Ameer Jamal and Sanaf Gulamustafa were found not guilty of murder but guilty of two counts of manslaughter
Mr Hussain then arrived at the car park in a Skoda Fabia, being driven by his friend Mr Ijuzaddin, who had said he would take him as a ‘favour’.
CCTV footage showed the Skoda Fabia arrive in the car park and then immediately leave, with the Audi TT and Seat Leon following the Skoda out of the car park two minutes later.
The cars then ultimately ended up in a chase, with analysis by forensic collision investigators showing the Audi had reached speeds of up to 100mph.
The speed of the Skoda at the time of the crash, which was not captured on CCTV, was estimated at being in excess of 80mph.
In a 999 call to police made by front-seat passenger Mr Hussain moments before his death, he said their car was being ‘rammed off the road’ by balaclava-wearing assailants in two pursuing cars.
The jury heard Mr Hussain pleading: ‘They’re right behind. They’re hitting into the back of the car very fast. Please I’m begging you, I’m going to die.’
He repeatedly said the car was being rammed by a following vehicle whose occupants were wearing balaclavas. He screamed before a loud crash was heard.
Footage from police attending the crash scene, at about 1.35am on February 11, showed the Skoda Fabia in flames, resting against a tree in the central reservation of the A46 dual carriageway, by the Six Hills junction near Leicester.
Officers saw ‘a body hanging out the remains of the nearside passenger seat’, but the heat of the flames prevented rescuers from helping Mr Hussain.
After firefighters extinguished the blaze, Mr Ijazuddin’s body was also recovered, with the two men only identifiable by ‘dental records’, the jury heard.
In a victim impact statement read out in court by prosecutor Collingwood Thompson KC, Mr Hussain’s dad Sajad, who was in court surrounded by family, described his son as his ‘pride and joy’.
He said: ‘The joy Saqib bought into our lives was immeasurable. His beautiful presence was a gift.
‘He brought love and light into the lives of everyone who knew him. He was kind-hearted and selfless, and he was loved by all his friends and family and everyone who knew him.’
The scene of the wreckage of Mr Ijazuddin’s car on the A46 in February last year
He described how Saqib’s mother fell to the floor ‘crying and screaming ‘my child, my child”, when they were told by police their son had died.
Mr Ijazuddin’s father Sikander Hayat told the packed courtroom his family have been living a ‘never-ending nightmare that has shattered our lives’.
Looking at the defendants in the dock, he said: ‘Hashim was innocent. Totally innocent. One hundred per cent innocent.’
He added: ‘We are not the same and we have realised we never will be so carefree and happy again. My heart has been ripped out.
‘Why did this happen to him? He did not know his murderers or what awaited him in that Tesco car park.
‘We have lost our son in the worst possible way. The fear he must have felt in the moments leading up to his death. He was left with his friend to burn. It is heart-shattering.’
After his death, Mr Hussain’s family would later tell detectives he had been having a three-year affair with the older woman, who was married with children.
The judge said Saqib was clearly blackmailing Ansreen and he described Saqib as ‘immature and volatile’. He went on to say that Ansreen Bukhari was ‘the grown-up adult of this group’ and that she should have acted that way.
Dressed in a pink onesie, Mahek (left) was remarkably assured just hours after the crash as she told police that she and her mother had been to Nottingham
He said Ansreen’s concerns about her affair being exposed trumped any rational judgements. He told her: ‘You allowed out-of-control events to escalate ever more alarmingly.
Mr Hussain ‘appeared to be in love’ with Mrs Bukhari, whom he knew as Anzy, while her daughter, 24, was ‘aware of the relationship, and was happy to tolerate it, if not approve of it’, said Collingwood Thompson KC.
In mitigation for Mahek before sentencing, barrister Christopher Millington KC said his client was ‘somewhat immature’ and had been left in an ‘invidious’ position by her mother’s affair, but she had not intended the outcome of what happened.
He said: ‘She was driving an Audi which was a courtesy car that could be traced back to her.
‘Neither Ansreen Bukhari or Mahek Bukhari wore anything covering their faces.
‘The evidence does not establish an intent to kill.’
Mitigating for Ansreen, Patrick Upward KC said his client was a ‘respectable family woman’ for many years. He said: ‘She had been under pressure from Saqib.
There were threats being made to express what had happened between them.
‘On at least one occasion, Saqib did actually send a message to Ansreen’s husband inviting him to become a witness to what had been going on, but the message was deleted by Mahek.
‘Ansreen deceived a lot of people – her husband, her son, her family, her friends and we have seen the heart-wrenching effect this has had on the family of the two young men.
‘As a mature woman, as a mother, she knows the effect of what she has done. She will have to spend the rest of her life living in the shadow of her shame.’
Senior investigating officer in the case Detective Inspector Mark Parish, from Leicestershire Police, said it was a ‘callous and cold-blooded attack’.
Judge Spencer ended the hearing by making a formal judicial commendation praising Leicestershire Police officers involved in preparing the case for trial, as well as family liaison officers.
Another defendant, Mohammed Patel, was previously found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.
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