Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Saturday, 27 March 2010

Brazil parents jailed over five-year-old's murder

File photograph of Alexandre Nardoni being taken in for questioning by police in April 2008
Mr Nardoni says his daughter was killed by an intruder

The father and stepmother of a five-year-old girl have been found guilty by a Brazilian court of throwing her to her death from a sixth-floor window.

The death of Isabella Nardoni in 2008 shocked Brazil, and the case has been the focus of intense media coverage.

Her father, Alexandre Nardoni, was sentenced to 31 years in prison by the Sao Paulo court. Her stepmother, Anna Carolina Jatoba, must serve 26 years.

The couple, who had denied the girl's murder, will appeal, their lawyers say.

Isabella was found in the communal garden below the apartment where Nardoni, his second wife and their two children lived in March 2008.

Magazine headlines on Isabella's story

Nardoni, a lawyer, claimed that his daughter had been killed by an intruder while he was helping his wife bring the other children from their car, parked in a garage in the building's basement.

But prosecutors argued that his wife had attacked Isabella in the car and then strangled her in the apartment.

They said Nardoni, believing the child to be dead, had then thrown her out of the window to make it appear a third person was responsible for the attack. She died a few minutes after she was discovered on the ground.

Investigators found traces of Isabella's blood in the couple's car and in the apartment.

The pair will serve their sentences in separate prisons outside Sao Paulo, where they have been held since their arrest in April 2008. They will then be eligible to complete a shorter term for other offences in a semi-open prison.

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