A Southall man accused of murdering a prostitute told a jury this week he was being blackmailed by her ‘pimp’.
Navin Mohan, 34, of Quaker Lane, denies killing Anita Kapoor, also 34, from Hayes, who was found strangled and dumped in bushes by the A413 dual carriageway in Buckinghamshire in June this year.
The defendant told Reading Crown Court on Tuesday that he had agreed a price to have sex with the victim, but was informed that her boyfriend, Stanley Flanders - who, jurors have been told, is also accused of being her pimp - would go the police if he did not hand over £300.
Leaning forward intently as he gave evidence, Mohan told jurors: “I was trying to come to an amicable agreement with Anita as to how much money I should give him. I agreed to go from £20 to £50.
“I have said after that request (£300), that’s blackmail. Anita said I had to give the full amount, otherwise there would be repercussions.
“I got annoyed at this point. I said something which I regret and I shouldn’t have said - I told her that if she wasn’t coming back to Southall with me, she should get out the car and do whatever she wants to.”
Mohan claims Ms Kapoor got out of the car and walked into the darkness. He said he had to drive out of his way in order to turn his car around to go in search of her but she had disappeared.
The prosecution allege that Ms Kapoor was strangled by Mohan on the back seat of his red Nissan Micra before her body was dumped next to a layby.
Mohan said he found Ms Kapoor’s phone in the footwell of his car and dumped it in a public bin near his parents’ house after discovering it did not work.
He was arrested the following evening after being pulled over by unmarked police cars while on his way to work.
Upon his arrest he said: “Murder? Not me, you have the wrong person”, jurors were told.
Traces of Mohan’s DNA were found on Ms Kapoor’s neck but the defendant said this “could have quite innocently got on her neck when we were together” in the car.
Martin Heslop QC, defending Mohan, asked the defendant: “Did you kill her that night?” Mohan replied: “No, most absolutely not, no. No.”
But John Price QC, prosecuting, accused Mohan of doing nothing to help police officers with their murder inquiry after answering no comment to all questions put to him at interview at Loddon Valley police station in Reading.
The court heard Mohan’s partner did not know about his habit of using prostitutes. He said: “I’m a weak person. It’s a pathetic excuse but I’m a weak person.”
The trial continues.