Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Couple jailed for toddler killing

Zahbeena Navsarka and Subhan Anmwar
The couple blamed each other for the child's death

A mother and her partner have been jailed after being found guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter who had suffered more than 100 injuries.

Zahbeena Navsarka, 21, of Riddings Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, was jailed for nine years for the manslaughter of Sanam Navsarka.

Her partner Subhan Anwar, 21, was jailed for life for murder, with a minimum sentence of 23 years.

Bradford Crown Court heard a metal pole was used to shatter the child's leg.

The youngster died with fractures to all her limbs.

'Severe pain'

Navsarka was cleared of the murder of her daughter, but a jury found she was guilty of the child's manslaughter following a five-week trial.

Judge Peter Thornton QC said: "Your deliberate cruelty is beyond belief. Humanity has let her down."

Addressing Navsraka, the judge said: "You put your relationship with Anwar first, ignoring the needs of your vulnerable child.

"You failed to protect her from serious harm, knowing what was being done to her."

The court heard how "vulnerable and defenceless" Sanam deteriorated over four weeks and died in severe pain.

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

Prosecutors said the youngster deteriorated "from a normal, happy child to one in severe pain, unable to walk and suffering regular fits".

The jury of six men and six women were told on the day of her death, the defendants left Sanam alone and dying while they went to register with their GP.

The court heard how tiny handprints and bloodstains were found inside cupboards at the home in Huddersfield and at a former property on Howley Walk, in Batley.

Anwar, who was not Sanam's father, admitted to police after his arrest that he put the girl in the cupboard as a punishment and said Navsarka punished her in the same way.

When the couple were interviewed by police after Sanam's death, they blamed each other for the injuries the child had suffered and both claimed to be frightened of the other.

Det Insp Trevor Gasson said Sanam suffered horrific injuries

Both her thigh bones had been fractured, causing fatty deposits to enter her bloodstream and resulting in her death and she had fractures to both her arms.

The couple claimed Sanam had stopped breathing after they left her alone in the bath for 10 minutes and returned to find her under the water.

Det Insp Trevor Gasson said: "In my 25 years of police service and investigation of murder inquiries it is one of the most horrific cases I've had to deal with.

"Sanam was a beautiful and lively child who had her life tragically cut short by her mother and her partner."

Kirklees Council said a serious case review had been ordered into the case but stressed Sanam had not been on the child protection register.

In a statement, the council said: "Sanam had never been on the child protection register, nor had her mother been the subject of any child protection or care support in her earlier years.

"The mother's partner was not previously known to any public agencies.

"However, the Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board has instigated a Serious Case Review, as it is required to do in any such case."


The court heard neglect and suffering were part of the toddler's life until she died at the hands of her mother and stepfather

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