Conman jailed for at least 27 years after stabbing rich East Durham woman, hiding body in boot and spending her cash

Rakesh Bhayani
Rakesh Bhayani

A CONMAN has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years after stabbing to death a wealthy Haswell-born woman in her flat in central London before hiding her body in the boot of a car and spending her money.

Rakesh Bhayani, 41, was sentenced at the Old Bailey for the murder of Carole Waugh, said to have been a lonely woman who worked as an amateur escort and who believed that he was her friend.

Carole Waugh

Carole Waugh

A jury convicted Bhayani of the murder on Wednesday.

Ms Waugh, 49, died at her flat, where she lived alone, in Marylebone.

Her body was placed in a bag, which was carried to a car. The vehicle was initially stored in a central London car park, then left in a rented garage in New Malden, south London.

Police described Bhayani as “a confidence trickster who murdered her with the sole intention of stripping her assets and the belongings she had worked hard for”.

Sentencing Bhayani, Mr Justice Wilkie said he “ruthlessly targeted” Ms Waugh and “left her body to rot”.

He said the murder and subsequent dumping of the body was done with “greed, callousness and total lack of any regard” for her.

The murder was “arising out of an argument about money”, and the judge described Ms Waugh as a “risk-taker and manifestly vulnerable to conmen”.

He said: “Without a second thought, you calmly and comprehensively set about stealing her identity. You took steps to ensure her body would not be found for a sufficient time.”

Mr Justice Wilkie said Bhayani embarked on the complete “asset-stripping of her persona”.

Ms Waugh’s family were in court for the sentencing and heard the murder was “not premeditated or pre-planned”.