Former TikTok influencer Mahek Bukhari, 24, and her mother, Ansreen Bukhari, 46, were found guilty on Friday in a UK court of murdering two men whose car was rammed off the road during a late-night, high-speed car chase last year.
The pair, along with two other defendants, were convicted on two counts of murder following the deaths of Saqib Hussain and Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin, both 21, in February 2022. Another three people were cleared of murder, but were found culpable on two counts of manslaughter.
The car in which the men were traveling was catastrophically damaged when it crashed off a motorway near the English city of Leicester in the early hours of February 11 last year. The vehicle, a Skoda, subsequently collided with a tree and burst into flames. Reports from the scene described the car as having “virtually split in two.”
The jury at Leicester Crown Court heard that Ansreen Bukhari had been engaging in an affair with Saqib Hussain, who had threatened to distribute images and videos of a sexual nature featuring Bukhari as part of a blackmail plot.
The prosecution further alleged that the defendants had engaged in an “ambush” which culminated in the victims’ car being deliberately forced off the road, resulting in their deaths.
Shortly before the collision, Hussain called police to inform them that the car being driven by Ijazuddin was being “blocked in” by people in balaclavas who had been pursuing them in two vehicles.
The recording of the police call, which was played in the court, featured Hussain saying: “They’re trying to ram us off the road. Please, I’m begging you, I’m going to die.” He added, “Oh my God” before a scream was audible in the recording before the sound of a violent impact.
The court also heard that Ijazuddin had no links to any plot towards the Bukhari family but had given Hussain, with whom he was friends, a lift in his car to the scene where the ‘ambush’ began.
Bukhari and her mother denied both counts of murder against them but were found guilty following a 28-hour jury deliberation. They will be sentenced on September 1. Before they were remanded in police custody, the judge presiding over the case, Timothy Spencer KC, informed them that their sentence would be “very serious.”
Mahek Bukhari, who was known on TikTok as ‘Maya,’ had around 120,000 followers on the social media platform, where she would regularly post fashion updates – sometimes alongside her mother.