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Receptionist at Chatham GP practice gives evidence at Harjit Chaggar murder trial at Canterbury Crown Court

By Medway Messenger reporter

One of the last people to see Harjit Chaggar alive has told a murder jury of the "jovial person who always had a great big smile on her face".

Doctors' surgery administrator Karen Mitchell spoke to the 69-year-old Chatham pensioner just minutes before she was alleged to have been battered to death.

Harjit Chaggar was found dead in a shop in Chatham

Mrs Chaggar had gone to the Kings Family GP Practice in Magpie Hall Road to renew a prescription on September 2 last year.

In a statement read to the jury in Canterbury Crown Court Ms Mitchell said: "I knew Harjit Chaggar from working on the reception desk.

"She was a very jovial person who always had a great big smile on her face. She was also very friendly."

She said that Mrs Chaggar had come to the surgery "some time between 15.30pm and 4pm" on September 2 last year.

Harjit Chaggar with granddaughter Hannah on her 18th birthday

The pensioner handed Ms Mitchell a top from an Adcal D3 calcium supplement container and asked for her prescription to be renewed.

After filling in a repeat prescription form for the Adcal, she then took away another similar form for other medication promising to return later.

Ms Mitchell told the court: "Harjit then gave me a great big smile and left the surgery. She did not say where she was going when she left the surgery and did not say when she would be back in."

The administrator said on that day Mrs Chaggar was wearing a orange and gold two-piece suit.

"When she walked out of the surgery that was the last time that I saw her," she added.

"The following day a member of Harjit's family came to the surgery, I think in the morning. I was informed that Harjit had gone missing.

"When she left the surgery I was not able to see which way she went."

Her body was found 12 days later in the Sani Globe grocery store in Luton Road, Chatham.

Police outside Sani Globe Food shop in Luton Road, Chatham

The prosecution has claimed that Mrs Chaggar 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, Bobbie Cheema QC 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."

The jury was also shown a series of 360 degree photo footage of the shop and the area in Luton Road.

Abdul Hannan, 44, of Aldon Close, Maidstone; Miah, 38, of Wheeler Street, Maidstone; and 28-year-old Mohammad Islam, of Windmill Road, Gillingham, have all denied murdering Mrs Chaggar, who had disappeared while shopping.

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

The trial continues.

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