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Home   Medway   News   Article

Harjit Chaggar murder trial jury sent home for Easter break after hearing pensioner found dead in basement of Sani Globe store in Chatham

15 April 2014
by Paul Hooper

The Harjit Chaggar murder trial jury have been told they can enjoy the Easter break - after listening to evidence for four weeks.

They have been sent home until April 22 after one of the defendants, who denies the charge, completed four days in the witness box.

Mohammed Islam - speaking through an interpreter - claimed that although he found the body of the 69-year-old pensioner - he played no part in her killing.

Harjit Chaggar was found dead in a shop basement

Harjit Chaggar was found dead in a shop basement



The jury had heard how people had begun complaining about a bad smell coming from within the Sani Globe grocery store in Luton Road, Chatham in September last year.

Incense candles were placed near to where Mrs Chaggar's body was found 12 days after she vanished.

Prosecutor Bobbie Cheema QC said some Asian people use incense "for religious purposes" and asked Islam if they had been placed there "out of some form of religious act or respect" because he knew a woman had died there.

Islam replied: "No, we put those on there because the bad smell was causing customers to complain."

Police at the back of the Sani Globe Food store after Mrs Chaggar's body was found

Police at the back of the Sani Globe Food store after Mrs Chaggar's body was found



He is the only one of four defendants to give evidence in his own defence at the trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

Mrs Chaggar's bloodied and battered body was found in a hole in the store - just yards from where she was seen shopping.

The prosecution has claimed that she had been assaulted and bled to death in the basement store room of the shop before being thrown through a hatch while still alive.

The prosecutor, said: "She was rendered unable to leave and never seen again.

"She must have been held there against her will and thrown in the void under the floor. She did not fall in there by herself and did not cover herself up" - prosecutor Bobbie Cheema QC

"She must have been held there against her will and thrown in the void under the floor. She did not fall in there by herself and did not cover herself up."

Islam, 28, of Windmill Road, Abdul Hannan, 44, of Aldon Close, Maidstone; and Murshed Miah, 38, of Wheeler Street, Maidstone have all denied murdering Mrs Chaggar.

Rasad Miah, 27, of Otway Street, Chatham, has pleaded not guilty to preventing the lawful burial or cremation of a corpse.

Lawyers will meet on Wednesday in the absence of the jury for legal
discussions and final speeches will begin the following Tuesday.

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