13 years for mother who tortured and killed daughter, 8

13 years for mother who tortured and killed daughter, 8

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Introduction

In August 2013, eight year old Ayesha Ali was found dead in her bedroom, having sustained more than 50 injuries.  A post-mortem found that Ayesha died as a result of damage to her head, caused by a blow or series of blows, on 29th August 2013.  Her body showed signs of prolonged abuse; carpet burns and even a bite mark.

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Ayesha’s mother, Polly Chowdhury, 35, and her girfriend Kiki Muddar, 43, were convicted of manslaughter on 4 March 2015 by a majority of 10-2, by a jury sitting at the Old Bailey having been acquitted of murder.  The jury retired to consider their verdict on 19 February, and spent over 31 hours deliberating.

What happened?

The jury heard that Muddar was “disgusted” by Ayesha, who endured prolonged abuse as a result. She suffered more than 40 injuries, including a bite mark and carpet burns.

Muddar met Chowdhury when she moved next door to Ayesha’s family in 2007.  Muddar befrended Chowdhury, and sought sympathy from her by pretending to have cancer.

Ayesha’s father, Afsar Ali, moved the family away from Muddar, but she tracked Chowdhury down, prompting the breakdown of her marriage.

Over time Muddar used Facebook updates and over 40,000 text messages to manipulate Chowdhury into believing that her daughter had evil spirits inside her and needed to be disciplined.  One text read “You have no right to ever love or like your evil daughter”, describing her as “pure evil” and a witch.  She even blamed Ayesha for making her fictional cancer worse and threatened to drown her in the bath.

A psychiatrist told the Court that Muddar had not been delusional in her actions, and fully understood what she was doing:

“She was rational in her judgements in having a disgust with Ayesha. She did not like Polly Chowdhury putting Ayesha above her interests,” he said.

“However immoral, abhorrent and illegal her judgment, it was rational… there is no question of either defendant having been mad.”

In Chowdhury’s evidence she admitted that the pair smaked Ayesha and his her with a wooden spoon, because “Skyman” an alias “spirit” created by Muddar, told them to in a text message.

Sentence

On 6 March 2015 the pair were sentenced.

Chowdhury received 13 years’ imprisonment.

Muddier received 18 years’ imprisonment.

The judge said that Chowdhury had  “disgracefully failed” in her fundamental position of trust to keep her daughter safe and that Muddar had purposely torn apart the family by constructing an “extraordinary web of deceit and lies”.

The judge commented that whilst it was clear that Muddar had struck the fatal blow, both had played their part in the abuse, which had involved the wearing of “vile masks”

Comment

Manslaughter is often a very difficult offence to determine the appropriate sentence. It spans a wide range of behaviour from the very serious to the barely criminal. This case however was a very bad case of child abuse; it is not surprising, given the evidence of manipulation of Chowdhury that Muddar received a higher sentence by some distance.

We will wait for the sentencing remarks to be published before passing further comment but sentences of 13 and 18 years – whilst in no way make up for the tragic loss of life – certainly mark the seriousness of the offence. As to whether it is too high or low, only the details of the extent of the torture will reveal that.

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Lyndon is the General Editor of Current Sentencing Practice and the Criminal Appeal Reports (Sentencing)

2 COMMENTS

  1. I had to post this. This is where the manslaughter charge was not enough. This child will never be alive again but these women will eventually walk free. This story had the power not only to make me cry but to play on my mind and I will never read anything in the news like this again, it was too upsetting.

    It is the saddest thing I have ever read, especially when I read Ayesha’s diary. Thank goodness the Police released these letters and found them. You can feel that child’s pain in her written words. Praise must be given to the Police for their outstanding work in finding out everything that occurred from these lying women that blamed each other when they were both to blame. As if anyone would believe anything that they said about that defenceless child!! The stupidity of them defies belief. Ayesha was so intelligent too, look at how well she wrote and how well she did at school, as the father said. What a waste of a life in every way.

    To be left in a room and be made to write a list of good and bad and to to be made to feel like she was, when of course she wasn’t, she was only a child? All she wanted was to please her mother, you could see that from her words. What kind of person does this to a child? Did they have no heart, and not see this was wrong? They did not care. Her life for the last 6 months was a misery that no child should ever have to go through.

    It was a disgrace that the woman who should have been protecting Ayesha turned against her, her mother, and all through her own selfish needs. How can she live with herself? As for the other woman – that thing is evil through and through and I don’t think she even possesses that emotion. It was obvious she was jealous of this lovely child.

    The mother may have been manipulated by the other piece of worthless scum but that does not excuse what she did in any way. They both killed this child. Even an animal would behave better. If she did not want her, and anyone could see she put the other woman before Ayesha, then she should have let her live with her father and not had court orders issued against him preventing him seeing her, probably instigated by this other evil excuse for a woman. What goes around must go around for these women.

    I have read probably every article regarding this. It is a crying shame that the father did not ensure that this evil poisonous woman stayed out of their lives for good. Had he done that, then this beautiful child would still be alive today. Or if he had tried harder to see her when he was prevented, but who knows if he could have with these laws?

    I know he did try to get rid of this woman by moving them away, but he should have followed it through when she reappeared in their lives. This woman was relentless in what she wanted, which was the wife.
    If only he had insisted that all the children went to live with him, not just his elder daughter.

    I praise his courage in coming to the sentencing every single day. It is obvious he worshipped his daughter, he was so proud of her, and one can feel the pain with what he said about Ayesha, that he will never recover from this, as who could from this? He is a good man, it is tragic. And If only the next door neighbour who heard things that would have concerned any neighbour where a child is involved, had called the authorities, then Ayesha would probably be alive today. This neighbour also has that on her conscience.

    And I wonder what the school did when they noticed Ayesha’s demeanour had changed, as they mentioned? I am sure the mother and the other one would have had a excuse for them ready. And the ‘friend’ that that evil woman called and ranted about Ayesha to too?

    It is heartbreaking how many opportunities to save her were missed for this lovely child. If only she had told someone, but maybe she had no chance to or was too scared and who wouldn’t be? We will never know now.

    You can see in her photo she was a happy child once, she looked loved and cared for, and even the father said that before the wife became involved with this trash woman she had been a good mother. To treat another human being in this way, but especially a child, is unforgivable.

    The mother’s punishment will be to wake up every day and know that she lost her child due to her own selfishness and putting somebody else before her child – and someone who was only using her. Nothing will bring her back. There is never an excuse for neglecting your own child.

    There is so much more I could say but I will end with RIP Ayesha. You will always be in my prayers, you deserved so much more than to have your life cut short in this way, little angel. xxxxxx

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