Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 23:10 UK

Starved girl 'like camp victim'

Khyra Ishaq
Khyra resembled a rag doll, the court was told

A seven-year-old girl who died after allegedly being starved resembled a "concentration camp" victim, an ambulance worker has told a court.

Steven Hadlington told Birmingham Crown Court Khyra Ishaq looked dead when he went to her home in Handsworth, Birmingham, on 17 May, 2008.

He said the girl's mother had not shown any emotion when he arrived.

Khyra's mother Angela Gordon, 34, and Junaid Abuhamza, 30, both of Leyton Road, Handsworth, deny murdering Khyra.

Mr Abuhamza has admitted five counts of child cruelty relating to five other children in the care of the couple, while Ms Gordon denies five counts of child cruelty between December 2007 and May 17 2008.

There's no medical text book that can tell you how to deal with that - I have never seen anybody in that condition
Steven Hadlington, emergency medical technician

Mr Hadlington, an emergency medical technician, said he and two colleagues were let into the property in Leyton Road by Ms Gordon shortly after 0600 BST, after she had made an emergency call.

He said: "There was no real emotion shown, as far as I remember - she just indicated that the child was upstairs."

He said when he saw Khyra lying on a mattress he thought that she was dead.

Mr Hadlington said: "I went immediately to the side of her and felt for some sign of life...there was nothing," he said.

"Her eyes were sort of half-closed in a very glazed look."

Mr Hadlington added: "The child was very emaciated.

"The only other times I have seen anything like that has been on appeals for famine-hit countries or other than that, people who have survived the horrors of the concentration camps."

Attempts to resuscitate

Mr Hadlington said Khyra was like a rag doll when another ambulance worker picked her up to take her to hospital.

He also told the jury he feared his attempts to resuscitate her, by applying pressure to her chest, could break her ribs.

"You can only do what you can do," he added. "There's no medical text book that can tell you how to deal with that. I have never seen anybody in that condition."

The prosecution allege that Ms Gordon and Mr Abuhamz murdered Khyra by starving her over a period of weeks or months at her home.

Forensic pathologist Dr Alexander Kolar, who carried out a post-mortem examination on Khyra's body, said she weighed only 2st 9lbs at her death.

This meant she weighed only 12 lbs more when she died than she had aged 14 months.

Dr Kolar also told the court 34 marks of recent minor injury were found on her body, which was 4ft 1ins at the time of her death.

These included eight tramline-shaped bruises, which suggested she may have been struck with a stick-like object on more than one occasion, he said.

The trial continues.

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