Couple guilty of murdering widower after forced video confession

A couple have been found guilty of killing a 63-year-old widower and dumping his body beside a motorway after forcing him to record a “video confession”.

Frank McKeever (pictured) has not been since since he visited his stepdaughter, Surie Suksiri, at her home in Highbury, north London, on the evening of August 28 2021. His body has never been found.

On Tuesday, Suksiri, 32, and her boyfriend, Juned Sheikh, 47, were found guilty of his murder and preventing his lawful burial following an Old Bailey trial.

The court had heard that Suksiri had sent a 47-second WhatsApp video to Sheikh’s sister around an hour after Mr McKeever arrived at her home on the night of his murder.

In it, Suksiri said “Start” off-camera before Mr McKeever spoke on camera in a “flat tone” and admitted that he had assaulted her when she was six years old.

The video concluded with Mr McKeever saying: “I deserve to be punished for it.”

Prosecutor Bill Emlyn Jones KC had told jurors: “After he made that video confession, these two defendants killed him, and a few days later they removed his dead body from the flat and disposed of it. His body has never been found.”

Giving evidence, Suksiri denied harming her stepfather and blamed her partner for injuring him with repeated elbow blows.

She told jurors the victim had complained: “I think he has broken my ribs, I need an ambulance.”

Later, after she realised he had died, she admitted disposing of Mr McKeever’s body but could only remember it was beside a motorway because Sheikh had driven them to the spot.

She told jurors they had dragged the body out of the car and Sheikh had covered it with branches.

Sheikh declined to answer questions after his arrest and opted not to give evidence in the trial.

It was suggested that his case was that Mr McKeever had left the house alive and did not kill him and dispose of the body.

Mr McKeever’s disappearance was noticed because he was due to complete a house-swap with a couple who reported him missing after contact stopped.

Suksiri claimed at the time that she had not spoken to her stepfather for more than 20 years.

However, on September 2 she pawned three of his rings in exchange for £200, jurors had heard.

Her sister-in-law raised concerns with social services who contacted police after Suksiri told her about the recorded confession and sent her the video on WhatsApp.

The court also heard recordings of conversations Suksiri had with an undercover police officer last year after she was released under police investigation.

It was claimed by the prosecution they detailed a clear confession to the murder with Sheikh.

Suksiri and Sheikh, from Camberwell in south London, denied the charges against them.

Following the guilty verdicts, Sheikh reacted with anger towards jurors saying it was “not down to reasonable doubt” and they were “racist”.

He told them to “rot in hell” before being taken from the dock.

Judge Anthony Bate adjourned sentencing until November 20.

Emma Currie, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said the defendants killed Mr McKeever in a “calculated and cold-hearted way”.

She said: “What makes this case even more shocking is that Suksiri and Sheikh both know where they disposed of Mr McKeever’s body but have so far declined to help police.

“It must be agonising for Mr McKeever’s family to have been prevented from paying their final respects to him and are left dealing with his loss without really knowing what happened to him.

“I hope that today’s verdict will at least provide Frank McKeever’s family and friends with a feeling that justice has been delivered.”

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