Man found guilty of murdering two women whose bodies were found in freezer

A “manipulative” predator, who killed two women and hid their bodies in a freezer, has been convicted of murder.

Zahid Younis had subjected both victims to “very significant violence” in the days before he killed them.

The body of one of the women, Henriett Szucs was hidden in the chest freezer for almost three years before it was found by police in the 36-year-old killer’s flat in east London in April 2019.

Ms Szucs, 34, a Hungarian national, was last seen in August 2016 and is believed to have gone to live with Younis at his home in Canning Town.

The second victim, mother-of-three Mihrican Mustafa, 38, had not been seen since May 2018.

Police at the property on Vandome Close in Canning Town
Image: Police at the property on Vandome Close in Canning Town

Both women were described by prosecutor Duncan Penny QC as “vulnerable”.

He said they had been living “somewhat chaotic lives” and had been homeless for a time.

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The two victims had also struggled with addiction to class-A drugs.

They were, the prosecution said, easily manipulated by a man who had a history of preying on the vulnerable.

Police had been searching Younis’ home after he was reported missing, when they discovered the women’s remains in the freezer.

Officers used a crowbar to prise open the lid, after they noticed a strong smell and saw flies clustered around the appliance.

Post mortems revealed the women had sustained significant injuries, more than 50 internal and external wounds, including numerous rib fractures.

Henriett Szucs had suffered severe head injuries, while Mihrican Mustafa’s sternum and larynx had been fractured.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, the senior investigating officer on the case, said Younis was “an incredibly dangerous individual” who was both “manipulative and violent”.

“We have seen throughout this trial, that he is incredibly violent to women he has formed relationships with.

“Part of his pattern is to target vulnerable women, who lead chaotic lifestyles.”

The two women were known to have associated with Younis in the weeks leading up to their disappearance and personal possessions belonging to the pair were found inside his flat.

Traces of Ms Szucs’ blood were found on the carpet inside the property and fingerprints belonging to Ms Mustafa were found on the oven.

At his trial, Younis outlined an elaborate set of events he claimed explained why he was innocent of murder.

Vandome Close in east London where the two women were found
Image: Vandome Close in east London where the two women were found

He told the jury he came home one day and found Ms Szucs dead on his sofa. He claimed he panicked and hid her body in a newly purchased freezer, with the help of a local criminal.

He then testified that the same criminal and another man brought the body of Ms Mustafa to his home in May 2018 and demanded he hide that body in the freezer as well.

But the jury was told that one of the men the defendant claimed had been involved was in prison at the time of the alleged events.

The murder trial heard how Younis was a registered sex offender, jailed previously for sexual activity with a child and for violence against a separate teenage girl.

Some of his former victims gave evidence in the case.

DCI Harding said: “His life is littered with lies and manipulation of people.

“His story of finding the body of Henriett and then denying that he was in a relationship with her was shown to be a lie, after letters pointing to that relationship were found in the flat.”

The senior detective said Younis had show absolutely no remorse.

“All his previous convictions show his violent and abusive behaviour towards women.

“He broke one woman’s arm in three places. And some of these women came to court to give evidence and showed incredible bravery in reliving those events.”

In his defence,Younis said Ms Szucs had been “obsessed” with him and that out of goodness, he would feed her when she came to visit him.

But the jury at Southwark Crown Court did not believe those assertions, finding him guilty of murdering both women.

Younis, who has already admitted two charges of preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body, will be sentenced at a later date.