Mystery remains over Luton bin killing
A 'depressed' Luton mother used a hammer to batter her landlord to death in his sleep before hanging herself days after giving birth, an inquest heard.
The body of Adim Baba, 50, was found dumped in a wheelie bin with several skull fractures a week after Tabassum Winning, 34, was found hanged at his flat in Essex Close in October last year.
A coroner, he also said he “found it hard to believe” Mrs Winning single-handedly disposed of the body before killing herself said he would raise his concerns in writing to the chief constable of Bedfordshire Police.
Acting Senior Coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton Ian Pears, however, said that there was “no evidence” over involvement of a second person in her death.
The inquest heard:
>Mrs Winning gave birth by caesarian section at the L&D.
>After being discharged she spent a night each at the home of her husband, her lover and then with Mr Baba in Essex Close.
>On October 8 she attacked her landlord Mr Baba, as he lay in bed, and dumped his body in an outside bin.
>Her lover Yasir Nisar did not see the blood stains and hid a suicide note written by Mrs Winning.
>On October 10 she hanged herself.
>On October 19 Mr Baba’s body was found.
Mr Pears ruled Mr Baba was ‘unlawfully killed’ but gave an open verdict over Mrs Winning’s death.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has opened an investigation into why the police force did not discover Mr Baba’s body until a neighbour came across the wheelie bin outside his flat. The force said it was reviewing the case.
The coroner said: “From what I’ve heard Tabussum Winning’s life could only be described as complex - she was married to Mr Winning, lived with Adim Baba but was pregnant by Mr Nisar.”
He told the inquest at Ampthill, yesterday that Mrs Winning stayed in each of the three men’s homes after being discharged from hospital.
Her first night was with middle-aged Mr Winning, who said his six-year marriage to the Pakistani national started off as a “marriage of convenience” but that they later fell in love.
She then stayed with the Pakistani father of her child, Yasir Nisar, 33, of Hemel Hempstead, who claimed he did not know she was a tenant of Mr Baba at the time.
The coroner said Mrs Winning was staying with Mr Baba when he was “likely” murdered in the early hours of October 8 shortly after he returned from shopping for baby items.
Detective Inspector Fraser Wylie from the Beds, Herts and Cambs Major Crime Unit said DNA and fingerprint evidence suggested Mrs Winning used a hammer to inflict fatal “blunt force” injuries to his skull.
The coroner said the lack of “defensive” injuries to his hands or arms suggested he had suffered a “prolonged attack” in his sleep.
The detectives added Mrs Winning was seen moving the wheelie bin outside the two-bedroom home within a block of flats later that day.
He said Mr Nisar, originally from Pakistan, claimed he did not see blood splattered across the walls and up to the ceiling of Mr Baba’s bedroom when he stayed at the flat that evening.
The inquest heard Mr Nisar found her hanged above the doorframe to her bedroom in the property.
Mr Nisar said she was taken to hospital after she told him she was “depressed” over her “paper marriage” and fainted the day before.
She had discharged herself by the time he returned to Luton and Dunstable General Hospital.
Mr Nisar went to her address where he said he threw away a suicide note written in Urdu by Mrs Winning which was later found by officers.
He was arrested and questioned but later released without charge after detectives declared they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the double death.
Mr Baba’s body was only discovered by a neighbour who emptied the bin a week afterwards.
Officers found missing blue carpet tiles from underneath Mr Baba’s bed - which was used to wrap his boday - a large amount of his blood in his mattress and splattered across his bedroom walls.
DI Wylie said a “feeble” attempt had been made to clean the room with bleach and added: “It would be my opinion that on the night between Friday and Saturday when Tabaassum Winning returned to Essex Close on the 7th and 8th that Adim Baba had been attacked and most likely been attacked in his own bed, that he had suffered some severe blunt trauma to the head and again the most likely weapon was the hammer, which we located in the flat and that Tabussum Winning was the most likely responsible.
“Having murdered Mr Baba she set about to dispose of his body and she did that eventually by putting him into a bin and putting that bin outside the flat where he would be left.
“It would appear that this pressure would play heavily on her mind and Mr Nasir’s interception on Saturday and Sunday probably prevented her suicide much earlier but on the Monday she discharged herself from the hospital... and made her way back to Essex Close and there she committed suicide.”
After hearing evidence from a pathologist and gynaecologist, the coroner, however, said: “I find it hard to believe that she did this alone.”
He raised doubts that she could reach the height of the doorframe and that she could physically carry Mr Baba’s body into the bin having recently given birth.
He said he could not rule that it was suicide despite her note, adding: “Despite my suspicion that there’s a second person involved there’s no evidence of another person.
“What I’m going to be doing is writing to the chief constable just to express concern that the initial investigation into the death of Tabussum didn’t pick up on the death of Mr Baba at that stage so that that investigation can be looked at... just to prevent that from happening again.”
A statement from Bedfordshire Police said: “A coroner has today recorded a verdict of unlawful killing for Adim Baba and an open verdict in relation to the death of Tabassum Winning.
“This was an incredibly tragic case and our thoughts remain with family, friends and all those affected.
“A full investigation was carried out by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit following the discovery of the bodies in Essex Close, Luton, in October last year. Following detailed enquiries we concluded that Tabussum Winning had murdered Adim Baba and disposed of his body, before committing suicide.
“While we believe that no other people were involved in either death, we will be reviewing our evidence in light of the coroner’s ruling and comments.
“While it is unfortunate that the Mr Baba’s body was not discovered until the following week, the reality is that by the time Tabussum Winning’s body was found, Mr Baba was already dead. An earlier discovery would sadly not have made any difference to the tragic outcome of this case.
“An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation is currently on-going in relation to the time that it took to find Mr Baba’s body, following the discovery of Tabussum Winning’s body. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
The family of Mr Baba, who was also known as Mohammed Yasin, said he was taken advantage of by “opportunists”.
They said in a statement: “He was a brave, caring, and generous person. For more than 15 years he suffered much ill health. Despite this he would always smile and put on a brave face, making others smile and laugh at his jokes.
“We know he suffered in pain and feared death every day, but he was determined not to show this to the world. He never gave up fighting for his life.
“During his ill health his religion gave him hope and became a hobby for him.
“He was very charitable and would always help the less fortunate.
“Like a rare diamond he was found in a place where he did not belong.
“This cruel world does not deserve someone like him. He was too kind, too generous, and too precious for this world.
“Opportunists took advantage of his vulnerability and his kind nature
“We thought cancer was his worst enemy however an even worse fate was waiting for him.
“Every day, every hour and every minute we suffer unbearable pain. Our angel will never be forgotten and he will remain in our hearts forever. It’s unbearable to think he battled so hard only to live for such a tragic and horrifying end.
“We remember the way he lived and fought to live, this gives us hope to carry on living for him.
“His memories will live on in our hearts forever and no-one can take that away from us.”