Beds, Herts & Bucks

Rachel Manning case: Shahidul Ahmed has sex assault conviction

Shahidul Ahmed
Image caption Shahidul Ahmed sold his car eight days after Miss Manning's death, the jury has heard

A man accused of murdering a young woman in 2000 was convicted of sexually assaulting another woman more than 10 years later, a jury has heard.

Shahidul Ahmed, charged with the murder of Rachel Manning, 19, was detained in 2010 and later convicted of the assault, Luton Crown Court heard.

Mr Ahmed, 41, of Chestnut Crescent, Bletchley, denies murder.

Miss Manning became lost on a night out in Milton Keynes in 2000 and her body found at a golf club two days later.

She had been strangled and her face disfigured with a steering lock found 500m from her body at Woburn Golf Club, the court has heard.

Ben Gumpert, prosecuting, said at the opening of the case on Monday that it was not in dispute that DNA found on the handle of the steering lock matched that of Mr Ahmed.

Boyfriend acquitted

On Tuesday, the jury was told Mr Ahmed's 2010 conviction - which had resulted in his DNA being obtained - had been for the sexual assault of a woman in a car.

Mr Gumpert said the offence indicated the defendant was capable of the earlier crime against Miss Manning.

The court has heard her boyfriend Barri White was convicted of murder and jailed for life.

He had his conviction overturned in the Court of Appeal and was acquitted at a retrial in 2008.

On the night of 9 December 2000, the couple had been to a fancy dress party and went on to Chicago's nightclub in Milton Keynes.

Image caption Barri White and Rachel Manning had been to Chicago's in 1970s fancy dress

Mr White became involved in an argument with a man as they left the club in the early hours and told his girlfriend to get a taxi home.

She later called him from a phone box to say she was lost, with Mr White telling her to wait at a Blockbuster store.

However, she was not there when Mr White and a friend turned up.

He reported her missing on 11 December and her body was found the next day.

Mr Gumpert has told the jury that there were five key elements to the Crown's case.

Mr Ahmed lived in Bletchley, so knew the local area well; his DNA was found on the steering lock and it was "totally improbable" that a hair found on Miss Manning's clothing did not belong to him.

Fourthly, he sold his car eight days after her death, before later going on to commit a sexual assault on a young woman.

The trial continues.

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