Chef and his delivery driver friend strangled wealthy businesswoman to death and dumped her body in rubbish bin when she refused to sell them her £1.3million home, murder trial hears
- Chef Kusai Al-Jundi, 28, and delivery driver Mohammed El-Abboud, 24, on trial
- The two defendants allegedly strangled wealthy businesswoman Louise Kam, 72
- They dumped her body in a bin and planned to plunder her savings, court hears
A chef and his delivery driver friend strangled a wealthy businesswoman to death and dumped her body in a rubbish bin when she refused to sell them her £1.3million house, a murder trial heard.
Chef Kusai Al-Jundi, 28, and delivery driver Mohammed El-Abboud, 24, sent messages to concerned relatives when Louise Kam, 72, went missing, pretending she was still alive, it was alleged.
But prosecutor Oliver Glasgow told the hearing at the Old Bailey court: ‘She had been strangled, her body dumped unceremoniously in a rubbish bin, and a plan was afoot to conceal her murder and plunder her life savings.’
Al-Jundi had allegedly spent the months leading up to Ms Kam’s death trying to con her into giving him two properties she owned and sign over the control of her finances to him.
He allegedly instructed solicitors to act for both him and Ms Kam so her properties could be given to him without the need for any funds to change hands.
Mr Glasgow described Al-Jundi’s actions as a ‘carefully orchestrated deception.’
‘That plan had seen Mohammed El-Abboud move into Louise Kam’s house, treat her property as his own and then sell her car after she had been killed,’ Mr Glasgow said.
‘And that plan had ended with both defendants murdering Louise Kam, hiding her body and deceiving those who cared for her as to her whereabouts.’
Al-Jundi had allegedly spent the months leading up to Louise Kam’s (pictured) death trying to con her into giving him two properties she owned
The prosecutor added: ‘El-Abboud moved into Louise Kam’s house and posted videos on social media that mocked her wealth and good fortune.’
It was claimed he told visitors to the house that it belonged to Al-Jundi.
Mr Glasgow said the pair were linked to the crime through a combination of CCTV, telephone, forensic, and eye-witness evidence which painted an ‘undeniable evidential picture’.
Al-Jundi had deceived the pensioner into believing he would pay her vast sums of money in exchange for the two properties, jurors heard.
‘He tricked her into signing paperwork in connection with the sale of her house and he managed to obtain her signature on a power of attorney which had the potential to leave him in control of her personal finances,’ Mr Glasgow said.
El-Abboud and Al-Jundi were allegedly both together in Ms Kam’s three bedroomed semi-detached house in Gallants Farm Road, East Barnet, when she visited the address for the last time on 26 July 2021.
Ms Kam arrived at her house in Barnet expecting to finalise the sale of the property, it is claimed.
‘The three of them were in the address together for about 20 minutes and, whilst both Kusai Al-Jundi and Mohamed El-Abboud were seen to leave the address. Louise Kam never reappeared after she had driven onto the driveway,’ Mr Glasgow said.
‘It is unclear exactly what time she was murdered, but Louise Kam must have been killed that same afternoon and whilst she was at the address, because she was never seen alive again and no-one who knows her ever heard from her again.’
After the alleged murder Al-Jundi is said to have sent messages to her friends and family pretending she was alive and well on holiday.
He had allegedly sent these messages on Ms Kam’s phone using the wi-fi at the restaurant where he worked, the Yasmeen Shamin in Willesden High Road.
‘The messages that had been sent from her mobile telephone, which purported to have been sent by her, did not sound like she had written them,’ Mr Glasgow said.
‘Little did those closest to her realise that when they were replying to those messages, Louise Kam was already dead.’
But when her friends questioned Kusai Al-Jundi about her whereabouts, ‘he even had the audacity to claim that she had deceived him and that she had left the country taking his money with her,’ said Mr Glasgow.
Mrs Kam was last seen near the Spires Shopping Centre in Barnet, north London, on July 26 last year (stock image)
On the same afternoon that they killed her, El-Abboud moved Ms Kam’s black BMW 3 Series convertible from her house and parked it around the corner until the next day when he sold it to an unsuspecting buyer pretending it was his own car, it is alleged.
‘Then with the help of several unsuspecting acquaintances, he moved the rubbish bin in which Louis Kam’s body had been hidden,’ Mr Glasgow said.
Al-Abboud’s DNA was found on the hair dryer from which the electrical flex had been removed and used to strangle Ms Kam, it is claimed.
‘Louise Kam was the victim of a careful and cunning plan by Kusai Al-Jundi to defraud her and that when that plan did not work out as planned he and Mohamed El-Abboud killed her,’ said Mr Glasgow.
‘The two of them then set about trying to cover up her murder and doubtless they assumed they would be able to profit in some way from her death.
‘It does not matter who overpowered her, who wrapped the flex around her neck, or who bundled her lifeless corpse into the bin.
‘What matters is that the two of them did this together and that each supported the other in the plan to kill her, to dispose of her body and to try to profit from her death.’
El-Abboud, whose last address was Gallants Farm Road, Barnet, and Kusai Al-Jundi, of Wood End Road, Harrow, both deny Ms Kam’s murder. The trial continues. (stock image)
Mr Glasgow said Al-Jundi ‘is a liar and a fraudster, and someone who clearly preys upon vulnerable women to get what he can from them no matter what harm it may cause them.’
The court heard Al-Jundi’s restaurant was a short distance from Mrs Kam’s business premises; three flats she owned at 221a High Road, Willesden.
She told her son Greg that Al-Jundi had offered her ‘millions of pounds’ for the two properties.
Al-Jundi fabricated an offer of £5million available to Louise Kam for her property valued only at £1.3million.
In one voice note message sent to Louise Kam, Al-Jundi said ‘I find one guy for £5million. Don’t forget this number – £5million.’
Mr Glasgow said: ‘If there was a purchase for £5million, she sought to make a significant profit from a deal that would come through on a house that was worth no more than £1.3million.’
He allegedly claimed a girlfriend called Anna was financing the deal and Mrs Kam was even sent voice-note messages purportedly coming from her.
‘In fact, there was a woman called Anna in Kusai Al-Jundi’s life, but she was not his girlfriend, she had not given him any money and she was not planning on purchasing any property from Louise Kam – that was the very last thing she wanted to do,’ Mr Glasgow said.
‘The ‘Anna’ that Kusai Al-Jundi knew was a lady called Anna Reich and much like Louise Kam was to become, Anna Reich had already been a victim of Kusai Al-Jundi’s dishonesty.’
The court heard Anna Reich was a customer at the restaurant and Al-Jundi had told her he was in love with her. He neglected to tell her that he was already married with children.
She was not interested but agreed to sell him two cars; a Toyota Rav 4 and an Audi TT for £57,000.
The cars were handed over but Al-Jundi never paid for them, it is alleged.
Realising she had been lied to, Anna Reich texted Al-Jundi ‘You’ve known I used to work in the city and I know you’ve been bullsh*****g me for too long (…) I’m never getting my money for my Toyota Rav right?’
Mr Glasgow said: ‘Eventually, and very foolishly, Anna Reich was deceived into believing that Kusai Al-Jundi had transferred £30,000 into her bank account.
‘He had both of the cars that she owned and she had received not a single penny.’
El-Abboud, whose last address was Gallants Farm Road, Barnet, and Kusai Al-Jundi, of Wood End Road, Harrow, both deny Ms Kam’s murder.
The trial continues.