A MOTHER accused of murdering her toddler daughter could not have changed from a loving parent into a sadistic killer in a few days, a court heard yesterday.
In his closing speech James Curtis QC told a jury that while defendant Zahbeena Navsarka was responsible for the “criminal neglect” of daughter Sanam, there was no real case she had murdered the infant.
Navsarka and fiancé Subhan Anwar, both 21, of Riddings Road, Deighton, are on trial at Bradford Crown Court for the murder of Sanam who died aged two years and four months on May 8.
The little girl died from fatty embolism – a complication resulting from untreated fractures to her legs.
Mr Curtis said the prosecution's case had been fundamentally flawed and the suggestion that both defendants were in it together was “convenient but very dangerous”.
Mr Curtis said: “When is it she changed from a loving mum to a child-hating sadist?”
He continued: “This does not fit the picture of a sadistic child batterer…”
Mr Curtis told jurors before Anwar came on the scene Sanam had been fit and happy and appeared to be close to her mum.
He added Navsarka had been a “mouse” who lacked the confidence to tell people to go away.
Mr Curtis said: “The most graphic factor in the case is there’s no damage to her (Sanam) before.”
The court heard from Anwar’s counsel Gilbert Gray QC.
Closing his case Mr Gray said there was a little hard evidence to suggest Anwar had murdered Sanam and there was no evidence of murderous intent.
“When one looks at it closely,” he said, “there’s not a great deal of hard, firm evidence of murder.”
He said Navsarka suffered from a bad temper on which several witnesses agreed.
Commenting on a time when Navsarka had slapped her daughter several times as she attempted to cut her daughter’s hair, he said: “She squeezed her legs together and suddenly Sanam screamed in pain and what was the response to that? Was it to turn Sanam round and say sorry? No, it was five or six heavy slaps to the face.”
Mr Gray added Anwar was the first to take Sanam’s fits seriously while Navsarka had dismissed them. He said: “Who was it who started to say: ‘She’s having fits? Anwar’.What was the response of the mother? No, she’s not. There’s nothing the matter with that child.”
Referring to Sanam suffering from “floppy legs”, Mr Gray said: “What does a loving mother do when she sees a young child with legs that have no muscle tone or control? You don’t just mess about. You go straight on to somebody for help.”
Mr Gray added Navsarka’s allegations of sexual abuse by Anwar were a “wicked tissue of lies.
Both defendants deny murder. Anwar denies causing of allowing the death of a child. Navsarka admits failing protect her daughter.