Published: 00:01, 09 May 2014 |
The heartbroken son of murdered pensioner Harjit Chaggar has said he will be forever tormented by his mother's death.
Kuldish Chaggar, 47, spoke exclusively about the six months of horror and trauma his family have endured after her brutal killing in Chatham.
Mr Chaggar revealed he was planning a surprise party to celebrate his beloved mother's 70th birthday just two months after she went missing.
The civil servant, who lives in Chatham, told how he did everything he could to find his mother when she vanished on Monday, September 2 last year.
"She had never gone missing before," said Mr Chaggar. "I was pulling my hair out. That first night she went missing was horrible - I was stumped.
"I kept ringing her home. I even went to the hospital in case anything had happened to her. I searched everywhere, but I tried to block out the feeling that something was wrong."
He and his two sisters listened to harrowing evidence during an eight-week trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
At some points, he found it too traumatic to listen to the detail of what happened to his mother and had to leave the courtroom in tears.
The decomposing body of Mrs Chaggar, of Hillside Road, was discovered in the basement of the Sani Globe food store, in Luton Road, with severe head and chest injuries 12 days after she vanished.
It is believed the retired machinist lay in the basement bleeding to death for up to six hours after being thrown threw a hatch.
The worst injury was a severed spinal cord and other injuries which, according to a pathologist's report, were usually associated with serious road crash or falls from a great height.
The motive is not known as detectives admit they might never uncover why Mrs Chaggar was murdered.
Mr Chaggar said he has no feelings about the defendants, but is angry they lied to him when he was looking for his mother.
"Why did they lie to me?" he asked. "I was just looking for my mum. We were just looking for hope. It does my head in.
"It goes round and around my head. Why? If only she had just crossed the road to go home. I've thought it thousands of times."
He said the time since her death has taken its toll.
Mr Chaggar said: "I went from planning her holiday to India to planning a surprise 70th birthday party for her to her going missing and me trying to find her, to her body being found and then in December I had to arrange her funeral and cremation.
"I was even going to decorate her bedroom as a surprise while she was in India we were looking forward to it, but it was all just gone. It was snatched away from us - everything was gone.
"We wanted justice, for these were the people who did it, but they should not have done - my mum would never have hurt anyone.
"You don’t realise what a cruel world we live until something like this happens to you. What horrible people there are out there."
"You just never expect anything like that to happen to your mum - she had another 15 or 20 years in her."
Islam and Miah were also found guilty of preventing Mrs Chaggar's lawful burial or cremation along with their boss Abdul Hannan, 44, and another shop worker, 27-year-old Rasad Miah.
The jury failed to reach a murder verdict for Hannan and the judge directed jurors to return a not guilty verdict. The Crown Prosecution Service said it will not seek a retrial.
All four defendants were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Tuesday, May 20.
Murshed Miah, of Wheeler Street, Maidstone; Islam, 28, of Windmill Road, Gillingham; Hannan, 44, of Aldon Close, Maidstone and Rasad Miah, 27, of Otway Street, Chatham, denied the charges.
They will be sentenced on Tuesday, May 20.
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.