Kentish Town conman cleared of murder of wealthy amateur escort Carole Waugh

Carole Waugh

Carole Waugh - Credit: Archant

A conman has been found guilty of murdering a wealthy woman who was stabbed to death in her flat and whose body was hidden in the boot of a car.

Rakesh Bhayani, 41, was convicted by an Old Bailey jury of killing Carole Waugh, said to have been a lonely woman who worked as an amateur escort and who believed that he was her friend.

Bhayani admitted to perverting the course of justice by concealing the death.

Co-accused Nicholas Kutner, 48, from Kentish Town, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of perverting the course of justice by concealing the death.

Both men – described in court as professional conmen and lifelong gamblers who knew each other through prison – admitted conspiracy to defraud.

Ms Waugh, 49, died at her flat, where she lived alone, in Marylebone.

Her body was placed in a bag, which was carried to a car. The vehicle was initially stored in a central London car park, then left in a rented garage in New Malden, south London.

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A third man, Elie Khoury, 40, of Spring Street, Paddington, was found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud.

Mr Justice Wilkie deferred sentencing until tomorrow for Bhayani, of Chamberlayne Avenue, Wembley, and Kutner, of Leighton Road, Kentish Town, to allow for Ms Waugh’s family to attend the hearing.

“I am particularly aware that the family of Carole Waugh are not in attendance today and that it should be desirable that they should be present,” he said.

“I have in mind that I should proceed to sentence tomorrow when they will be here and therefore able to hear what is said. I know that they are coming from a long way distant.”

The court heard that Ms Waugh regarded Bhayani as a friend.

Patrick Gibbs QC, opening the prosecution case, told the court: “It seems that she had been intimate with him at one time or another in the past.

“She may have first met him through an advertisement of herself as an escort that she had placed on the internet.

“Like everyone else that has met Bhayani, she was taken in by him. She thought that he was her friend, but you may decide by the end of this trial that Mr Bhayani doesn’t really do friends.

“Once he had been released from prison, knowing how much she had, he planned that she should die.”