Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Couple 'watched two-year-old die'

Sanam Navsarka
Sanam Navsarka died in May 2008 after a long period of suffering

The mother of a two-year-old girl who suffered more than 100 injuries watched and did nothing as her daughter died in severe pain, a court heard.

Zahbeena Navsarka, of Riddings Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, is charged with her partner Subhan Anmwar of murdering Sanam Navsarka last May.

The girl died with fractures to all her limbs, Bradford Crown Court heard.

The couple, both 21, are accused of repeatedly assaulting Sanam over a month-long period. They deny murder.

Continuing the prosecution's opening of the case, Julian Goose QC said: "Sanam died as a result of really serious injuries, deliberately inflicted upon her, over a period of up to four weeks before her death.

Tiny handprints

"The defendants either inflicted that violence upon her together or one encouraged the other, standing by and doing nothing over all those weeks whilst she was being repeatedly assaulted and severely injured."

They had watched her "deteriorate... from a normal, happy child to one in severe pain, unable to walk and suffering regular fits", Mr Goose added.

The jury was told the defendants left Sanam alone and dying in their home while they went to register with their GP.

The court also heard how tiny handprints and bloodstains were found inside cupboards at the home in Huddersfield and also at a property on Howley Walk in Batley, West Yorkshire, where they had lived.

Mr Anwar, who is not Sanam's father, admitted to police he put the girl in the cupboard to punish her and said Miss Navsarka did the same thing, the court heard.

Drowning claim

When the couple were interviewed by police, they blamed each other for the injuries Sanam suffered, Mr Goose said.

The court has been told Sanam had 107 separate external injuries when she died.

The couple claimed Sanam died when they left her alone in the bath for 10 minutes and returned to find her under the water.

But a pathologist who conducted a post-mortem examination on Sanam ruled out drowning as a cause of death.

Mr Anwar also denies a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Miss Navsarka has admitted an alternative charge of failing to protect Sanam.

The trial continues.

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