THE current occupant of Sanam Navsarka’s first home still shudders when she walks past a tiny cupboard.
It was used to imprison the little girl.
Victoria Roberts revealed how she feels uneasy at the thought of the baby girl being locked up by her mother’s sadistic partner.
At the start of the trial, prosecutor Julian Goose told the jury about the cupboard, in the hallway of the house on Howley Walk, where Sanam lived with Zahbeena Navsarka and later Anwar before they moved to Riddings Road in Deighton.
He said: “There was a cupboard with no internal light and a door that could be secured to prevent a two-year-old child from escaping. Mr Anwar used the cupboard as a way of punishing Sanam. From time to time he put her inside her cupboard, closing the door and leaving her there in darkness. Sanam was frightened of the dark. Placing Sanam in the cupboard upset her.”
Tiny handprints and bloodstains were found inside a cupboard in the hallway of the flat after Sanam’s death in May last year.
Examiner photographer Peter Cottle took these exclusive pictures.
Miss Roberts said: “The cupboard had its door taken off before I moved in and it’s a bit creepy when I walk past.”
Jobless Miss Roberts, who lives alone, moved in shortly after the couple left the Batley flat to move to Riddings Road.
She said there were still tiny handprints on the walls when she moved in – now a poignant reminder of the little girl whose life was violently cut short.
Miss Roberts revealed that the idea of living in the same flat where Sanam’s abuse began makes her feel on edge.
But she added: “There’s nothing I can do to change it. I did want to move but I’ve got nowhere else to go and I’ve changed it and put new carpets in and decorated it. She didn’t die there, so that makes it slightly better.”
The little girl lived for only a short time in Riddings Road, but residents were horrified when they heard of her death.
Mrs Clare Gee, 31, lives across the road from the house of death.
"I met Zahbeena once or twice. I had an Anne Summers party at my house. The party had finished and another neighbour, Rosie McGlade, said she had company at her house and could she invite Zahbeena, the little girl’s mum.
"She came over with her partner, Anwar. They didn't stop for long and introduced themselves.
"The child never moved off the mother's hip.
"Zabheena was very quiet. He (Anwar) did most of the talking.
"When I touched the baby she gave a really loud groan. Now it adds up that she was in pain.
"Subhan Anwar struck me like a bit of tough guy, like a gangster. He would puff his chest out. He was cocky and seemed to have an attitude problem.
"Zabheena seemed to ignore Sanam like she couldn't be bothered to pick her up.
"When I heard what had happened I was just disgusted. I couldn't believe anyone could do that to their child.
"It's awful living here because I have to look at that house every day and I know what's gone on".
Mrs Guiseppina Ellam, 74, is another resident in Riddings Road.
"One night I heard banging, like with fists, and one night they were playing music really loud and I was fed up and I banged on the wall.
"It's a terrible shame. They should have looked after the child".