A TikTok and Instagram star has denied intending to kill one of two men who died when their car was allegedly rammed off the road after her mother was blackmailed with a sex tape.
Fashion influencer Mahek Bukhari, who denies murdering 21-year-olds Saqib Hussain and Mohammed Hashim Ijazuddin, also denied seeing others wearing balaclavas in a car park prior to a car chase which led to their deaths.
Prosecutors say Mr Hussain, from Banbury in Oxfordshire, was killed after threatening to expose his relationship with Bukhari’s mother Ansreen, who also denies two counts of murder.
Six other defendants also deny murdering the men, who died on the A46 near Leicester in February when the Skoda they were in hit a tree and caught fire.
Giving evidence at Leicester Crown Court on Wednesday, 23-year-old Mahek Bukhari, of George Eardley Close, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said she met Mr Hussain at a London shisha bar in the summer of 2020 and her mother later admitted having an affair with him.
Wearing a white shirt and dark jacket, the content creator and YouTuber told the jury: “At the beginning, she was denying it… then he started about, ‘I have sexual images of her’.
“She told me about the relationship and how she wanted to end it. She said she made a mistake and she felt so bad about it.
“Hearing that from my mum. It did break me.”
Answering questions from defence KC Christopher Millington, Bukhari said she blocked Mr Hussain’s account after coming to see him as mentally unstable and his behaviour towards her mother as “just vile”.
She added: “Every morning at breakfast, she (Ansreen) would just be crying in her room.
“I advised her that the police would be the best way because you could get a restraint order.”
Mr Hussain was “demanding” £2,000 and Mahek Bukhari drove to Leicestershire to meet him, along with others, at an address in Tomlin Road, Leicester, the court heard.
Telling the court she drove in her Audi TT from Stoke to Leicester at up to 100mph because Mr Hussain “had already said he was going to come to my house”, she said: “Threats were being made. I had to make my way there as soon as possible.”
Bukhari, who described her mother as “like a sister to me”, said she pulled into a supermarket car park in Leicester, where a co-defendant asked to drive her car.
Mr Millington asked her: “It’s suggested that there were men who at various points were wearing balaclavas. Did you see anyone in Tomlin Road wearing a balaclava or on Tesco car park wearing a balaclava?”
Bukhari said: “No.”
After Bukhari told the court she believed she was waiting in the car park for Mr Hussain to arrive, her barrister asked if there was any intention to attack or kill him.
Bukhari replied: “No.”
Giving her account of the interaction between her Audi, which was being driven by a co-defendant, a Seat vehicle and the Skoda, which crashed, Bukhari said she did not see it leave the road.
Although she saw the Skoda go towards the central reservation, Bukhari said, she did not hear the sound of “any significant incident”.
After returning and seeing a car on fire, the defendant said, she did not want to “think the worst” and returned to Stoke-on-Trent.
Mr Millington ended his questions by asking Bukhari: “Was there any plan as the cars proceeded along the A46 to ram the Skoda car?”
Bukhari said: “No.”
The trial continues.