An Indian-origin conman was on Wednesday found guilty of murdering a millionaire oil executive in her central London flat to fund his gambling habits.
Rakesh Bhayani from Wembley in north-west London was convicted at the Old Bailey court in London for the murder of Carole Waugh, who had disappeared from her Marylebone flat in May 2012.
Her body was found in the boot of a car in a lock-up garage in south London four months after she went missing. Following her death Bhayani used a series of lookalike women to pose as the 47-year-old Waugh, emptying her bank accounts, maxing out her credit cards and selling her jewellery in order to fund his lavish lifestyle.
During the trial, prosecutors told the court that "the evidence strongly suggests" Waugh was stabbed in the neck at home on April 16, 2012.
The 50-year-old was said to be lonely and worked as an amateur escort.
Bhayani, 41, had told jurors at the Old Bailey that he went to Waugh's flat with co-defendant Nicholas Kutner, 48, to remove her corpse and store it in a car. He explained that he did not contact police because he was involved in a fraud with Waugh and Kutner, and feared he would be linked to her murder.
Kutner was cleared of murder but found guilty of perverting the course of justice by concealing the death.
He had already admitted conspiracy to defraud.
Bhayani too had previously admitted conspiracy to defraud Waugh and perverting the course of justice by concealing the death. He claimed a casual affair with the deceased and that she had agreed to disappear from the country so that he could carry out various frauds using her name, with accomplice Kutner.
Bhayani has made 14 previous court appearances for 95 offences and Kutner has been before the courts 13 times for 97 offences, jurors were told.