LONDON – A British jury on Wednesday convicted one man and acquitted another of murdering of Carole Waugh, a wealthy Londoner whose body was found stuffed in a car trunk months after her disappearance.
The 49-year-old Waugh — described in court as a lonely woman who had once worked for an oil company — disappeared in April. Her body was discovered in August and two alleged conmen — Rakesh Bhayani and Nicholas Kutner — were charged with murder.
They were accused of stabbing Waugh in the neck at her apartment in the genteel London neighbourhood of Marylebone, stashing the body in a car and going on to steal large sums of her money.
Bhayani, 41, was convicted Wednesday at London’s Old Bailey Court. He also admitted to perverting the course of justice by concealing Waugh’s death.
Kuttner, 48, was acquitted of murder but convicted of perverting the course of justice. Both men admitted conspiracy to defraud.
Over the course of the trial, a jury at London’s Old Bailey criminal court heard allegations that Waugh worked as an amateur escort, and that the men were professional conmen with gambling habits who knew each other from prison.
In his opening statement, prosecutor Patrick Gibbs said Waugh once worked for an oil company in Libya, before returning to Britain. She may have met Bhayani through an advertisement she had put on the internet offering her services as an escort, he said.
“Like everyone else that has met Bhayani, she was taken in by him,” Gibbs said. “She thought that he was her friend.”
Bhayani and Kutner will be sentenced Thursday.
A third defendant, Elie Khoury, was acquitted of conspiracy to defraud.