Battered daughter 'locked in cupboard'

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The Independent Online

Tiny, bloody handprints were found on the inside of a cupboard in a house where a two-year-old girl died after sustaining more than 100 injuries, a court heard yesterday.

Sanam Navsarka died after fractures to both her thigh bones resulted in fatty deposits entering her bloodstream. She also had fractures to her arms, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Her mother Zahbeena Navsarka, 21, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and her partner Subhan Anwar, also 21, deny murdering Sanam in May last year. The jury of six men and six women heard how Mr Anwar, who was not Sanam's father, would punish the girl by putting her in a dark cupboard and neighbours described hearing him call her "a bastard".

Marriya Zaman, Ms Navsarka's sister, told the jury she had seen bruises on Sanam weeks before her death. Giving evidence by video link, Ms Zaman said she visited the house and saw a bruise covering most of the little girl's forehead, from her hairline to her nose.

She told the court that, when she asked about it, Ms Navsarka said she did not know how it had happened and Mr Anwar said he had not done it. On other occasions, Ms Zaman said she saw bruises on Sanam's legs, a bruise on her chin and that she once had a "bust lip". Ms Zaman said during one visit, her niece could not walk and told her to pick her up. She said: "She was just saying 'ow' because her legs hurt."

Ms Zaman described the last time she saw Sanam, five days before her death, and said: "She was just sitting on the sofa, she wasn't smiling or anything. She was upset."

Ms Zaman told the jury she had seen Mr Anwar shut Sanam in a cupboard. "He used to put her in this cupboard because she couldn't stop crying and stuff. He used to get a bit mad," she said. "He used to tell her to shut up."

Ms Navsarka has pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of failing to protect her daughter.

The trial continues.