A TikTok influencer and her mother have been charged with murder after allegedly coming up with a plot to prevent the mother's affair being exposed in a trial that continues today (25 April).
Mahek Bukhari, 23, and her mother, Ansreen, were charged along with six others following the deaths of Saqib Hussain and Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin in a car crash in February 2022.
Hussain and Ijazuddin, both 21, were driving on the A46 near Leicester when Hussain called 999 and told the dispatcher there was 'guys following [him]'.
"They have balaclavas on… they're trying to ram me off the road. They're trying to kill me, I'm going to die… please sir, I just need help," Hussain said.
"They're hitting the back of the car, really fast… please I'm begging you. I'm going to die."
A scream was heard before the call came to an abrupt end, and the pair died in the crash shortly after midnight.
The case was heard in Leicester Crown Court on Monday (24 April), where the court heard that Hussain, began an affair with 45-year-old Ansreen in 2019.
The mother is said to have ended the romance in January 2022, but prosecutors claimed Hussain continued to make attempts to contact Ansreen and had sexual videos and images of her in his possession.
Hussain was accused of becoming 'increasingly obsessive', with the barrister saying: "This anger manifested itself in an attempt to blackmail Ansreen Bukhari in order to persuade her to contact him.
"Messages show that [he had] sexually explicit material of her, which had obviously been taken some time before, and he threatened to send it to her husband and son."
Hussain allegedly demanded up to £3,000 as compensation for money he had spent on dates with Ansreen, and a meeting was arranged in Leicester to hand it over.
The court heard that Mahek, who at the time had about 230,000 followers on TikTok, was aware of Hussain's alleged plans to blackmail her mother, and sent Hussain a message saying: "Carry [on] speaking to her now, you'll see movements soon."
She also sent a WhatsApp message to her mum, saying: "I'll soon get him jumped by guys and he won't know what day it is."
Instead of giving the money to Hussain, the mother and daughter allegedly 'set a plot' to seize Hussain's phone containing the explicit material.
Collingwood Thompson KC said: “But even doing that he could send a message to Ansreen Bukhari’s husband, which would ruin Ansreen’s marriage and damage her reputation. Further, Mahek Bukhari was an influencer on social media and the revelation of that affair might even have caused damage to her standing."
Other defendants are said to have become involved in what happened as it became clear the family members needed to 'silence' Hussain, the court heard.
"Common sense would suggest the idea was to lure him [Mr Hussain] into a meeting, promising him his money," Collingwood Thompson KC.
He said the group 'no doubt hoped when confronted with numerical superiority, he might just hand the phone over', adding: "And that if he did not - cause Mr Hussain really serious harm to achieve their ends, if not to silence him permanently as will become apparent."
Thompson said it was the 999 call that informed police this was 'no ordinary traffic accident but cold-blooded murder'.
"That investigation revealed a story of love, obsession, extortion and ultimately cold-blooded murder," he told the court.
Ijazuddin, who had agreed to drive Hussain to the meeting in Leicester, was described as simply having been 'in the wrong place at the wrong time'.
All eight defendants in the case have denied two counts of murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.
The trial is ongoing.