Sunday 19 November 2017

Man who murdered girl and dumped body in suitcase at Heathrow jailed

Shenai Raif

A MAN has been jailed for at least 24 years for murdering a party girl whose body was dumped in a suitcase at Heathrow Airport.

Former air steward Youseff Wahid, 42, was found guilty in August and remanded to allow the judge to determine the minimum term of a life sentence.

Wahid fled Britain for his native Lebanon the day after the body of Fatima Kama was discovered in July 1999, the Old Bailey heard.

Pursued by Scotland Yard detectives, Wahid fled again before he could be tried there but was sentenced to death in his absence.

He was eventually extradited from Bahrain last year - the first time anyone has been sent back to the UK from there.

Judge Paul Worsley told Wahid: "You are an intelligent but devious and manipulative man.

"There is indication of significant physical suffering before her death.

"You callously concealed her body in a suitcase."

Miss Kama, 28, lived her life "like Holly Golightly", the fun-loving Audrey Hepburn character in the 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany's, the court heard.

She was on a week-long visit to London from Canada when she was attacked as she stayed in Wahid's brother's flat in Marble Arch, central London.

She was repeatedly stabbed in the back and her throat slashed before being taken to an airport car park on the Heathrow Express from Paddington station.

She was found soon after the suitcase was spotted on a trolley.

But before the aspiring cabaret singer and dancer could be traced back to the flat, Wahid had flown out from the same airport.

Adrian Darbishire, prosecuting, said Wahid was seen on CCTV carrying the "very heavy" suitcase on the train.

The next morning, he had shaved off his moustache and left the UK for Beirut where extradition was not possible.

But Mr Darbishire said he could not escape "the long arm of Scotland Yard" as detectives tracked him to Bahrain.

DNA from the body linked him to Miss Kama, whose blood was found on carpets and skirting boards.

Miss Kama had been due to fly home on Sunday and her family alerted police when she failed to turn up at Montreal airport.

Mr Darbishire said: "She was a vivacious and attractive young woman who had a number of rich admirers.

"There was something of the Holly Golightly about her and her friends.

"Often she would be out at nightclubs and casinos until the early hours of the morning with male and female friends."

But Wahid, on the other hand, was "neither rich or attractive to Fatima Kama".

Wahid refused to take part in the trial and turned down legal representation in the "mistaken belief" that he could abort the trial, the judge said.

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