A CONMAN serving a life sentence for the notorious murder of a County Durham woman has failed in his Court of Appeal bid to clear his name.
Rakesh Bhayani, 42, from Wembley, North London, was convicted in 2013 of the murder of 49-year-old Carole Waugh at her home in the capital.
The body of Miss Waugh, a wealthy former oil company executive originally from Haswell, near Peterlee, was found in a garage in south London in August 2012.
She was thought to have been killed with a single stab to the neck at her Marylebone flat, before her killer and others began a lengthy bid to strip her assets.
Her bank accounts were plundered, her home used to obtain a loan and attempts made by others to rent it out.
Bhayani pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to conspiracy to defraud and perverting the course of justice by moving her body.
In all the circumstances, we are unpersuaded that anything occurred which should lead us to conclude that this conviction was unsafe.Lord Justice Treacy
But he has always denied being behind her killing.
Earlier this month, he took his case to the Court of Appeal, where his lawyers argued that some of the evidence against him was ‘deeply flawed’.
A witness - a prison inmate known as Witness X - claimed that Bhayani had confessed to killing Miss Waugh, said Orlando Pownall QC.
However, his evidence was only given late in the trial, without the defence having enough time to get evidence to challenge him, he complained.
Today, Lord Justice Treacy returned to the court, where he had heard the appeal with Mr Justice Cooke and Mrs Justice Simler, and dismissed Bhayani’s appeal.
“There was, as it seems to us, a strong case to be made against Rakesh Bhayani, irrespective of the evidence of X,” he said.
“In the end, it was for the jury to assess the value of X’s evidence in the light of the judge’s direction.
“In all the circumstances, we are unpersuaded that anything occurred which should lead us to conclude that this conviction was unsafe.
“Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed.”
Bhayani will serve a minimum of 27 years behind bars for the murder before he can be considered for parole.