Members of the Bangladeshi community in Milton Keynes have told the Citizen of their “deep regret” that they did not alert police to the predatory behaviour of killer Shahidul Ahmed years earlier.
Years before Ahmed killed teenager Rachel Manning in December 2000, he spoke to fellow Indian restaurant workers about his fantasy of picking up a young white girl for sex.
One former colleague said: “People who didn’t know the man well thought that he was quiet, polite and kept himself to himself. But in fact there was all sorts of horrible things going on in his head.”
Ahmed worked in numerous restaurants around the city, keeping each job for a year or so before moving on to the next.
He almost came to blows with his employers at one Stony Stratford restaurant after an incident in which he followed a young female member of their family from college and pestered her.
“She was only 16 and Ahmed was a newly married man. He frightened her – he would not leave her alone,” said a family spokesman.
“My brothers and I pulled him out of the restaurant and told him never to do it again.”
Later Ahmed’s colleagues complained of his “filthy” comments regarding English girls.
“He told the other workers his fantasy was to “pick up” an English girl and have his way with her. The things that came out of his mouth were vile. He was a married man and he went to the mosque to pray – yet he had these evil thoughts,” said one source.
The close-knit community watched in horror as Ahmed discovered a new outlet for his sick fantasy – posing as a cab driver outside city nightspots.
“We knew he hoped to pick up young girls who had had a few drinks. We used to see him waiting in his car and we all spoke about how wrong it was,” said one man.
“If only we had called the police back then. Perhaps the murder of Rachel Manning may never have happened. We knew he had evil fantasies, but we never thought he would carry them out.”
Ahmed’s wife and his four children, one of whom has just excelled at her GCSE’s a year early, were unaware of his dark side until his arrest for murder.
The family has this week moved out of Milton Keynes to recover.