Harjit Chaggar: Two guilty of shop basement murder

Harjit Chaggar's body was found in the basement 12 days after she vanished

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Two men have been found guilty of murdering a grandmother who was left to die in a shop basement.

Mohammed Islam, 29, from Gillingham, and Murshed Miah, 38, from Maidstone, attacked Harjit Chaggar at the store in Chatham, Kent, last September.

They were also found guilty of preventing Mrs Chaggar's lawful burial, along with Abdul Hannan, 44, from Maidstone, and Rasad Miah, of Chatham,

Hannan was found not guilty of murder. The men denied all of the charges.

Mrs Chaggar's body was only found 12 days after she went missing because of the smell, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

'Motive unclear'

Islam worked as a butcher at the store in Luton Road at the time Mrs Chaggar disappeared on 2 September.

Jurors heard Mrs Chaggar's badly decomposed body was concealed in a bin bag under the floor boards and her injuries were consistent with being thrown into the basement while still alive.

Nigel Pilkington, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said the motive for the murder was unclear.

He said some of Mrs Chaggar's belongings were missing and so the most probable motive was robbery.

Abdur Rohim, who used to cook at the food store, gave evidence from Bangladesh by video link.

Murshed Miah, Abdul Hannan and Mohammed Liakat Islam Murshed Miah, Abdul Hannan and Mohammed Liakat Islam all denied murder

He told the court he never met Mrs Chaggar, but said in the days leading up to the discovery of the body, there had been "a horrible smell" in the shop.

Mr Rohim said staff lit incense sticks to get rid of it.

'Callous'

Sani Globe was described in court as a grocery shop and a butchers which supplied local restaurants.

Jurors heard Hannan and his brother Murshed Miah ran the business while Rasad Miah worked in the shop along with Mr Islam.

CCTV still of Mrs Chaggar on day she was pushed down the stairs CCTV captured Mrs Chaggar walking through Chatham

Judge Adele Williams praised the dignity of Mrs Chaggar's family and the police investigation.

However, shouting from the gallery, Hannan's wife said: "You've not been just. My husband is innocent."

Det Supt Rob Vinson, from Kent Police, said the men's silence meant he was unable to tell Mrs Chaggar's family exactly how and why she was attacked and left to die.

Nigel Pilkington, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The defendants all knew... how she came to be killed and why.

"The denials of her murder and their collective attempts to hide the truth were particularly callous and aggravated further by the fact that they left her to die."

Her son Kuldish Chaggar said: "We pray that she is now at peace and can give us the strength to carry on without her no matter what obstacles are placed in our way, for none can be bigger than losing her.

"We remember the good times, the smiles and laughter of a loved and treasured mother and grandmother who had so many hopes and plans for the future."

The men are due to be sentenced on 20 May.

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