Couple jailed for starving child - Crime - UK - The Independent

Couple jailed for starving child

The mother and stepfather of a seven-year-old girl who was starved to death were jailed for her manslaughter yesterday by a judge who called their treatment of the child "chilling in its harshness and cruelty".

Khyra Ishaq died in May 2008 when her emaciated body succumbed to an infection after months of starvation at her home in Leyton Road, Handsworth, Birmingham. Mr Justice Roderick Evans sentenced her 35-year-old mother, Angela Gordon, to 15 years, with a minimum term of seven and a half years, and jailed her former partner, Junaid Abuhamza, 31, indefinitely for the public's protection.

The pair were cleared of Khyra's murder at Birmingham Crown Court last month. Both were also given concurrent sentences of four and five years for cruelty to five other children in their care, which they admitted. The judge told them: "It is not right to say these children suffered from neglect. Neglect is an inadequate and inappropriate description. Rather, they were subjected to a domestic regime of punishment which was chilling in its harshness and cruelty."

Abuhamza, who suffers from schizophrenia was told: "You now have some insight into your illness, but it is limited, and you are not compliant with your medication. The three psychiatrists who assessed you are of the view that you represent such a danger and urge me to deal with you under the dangerous offender provisions of the Act [Criminal Justice Act 2003]."

The judge told Gordon her cruelty was "horrific". She will serve half of her sentence in custody.

Khyra was removed from school in December 2007 and subjected to a punishment regime which included standing outside in the cold or in front of a fan for long periods, having cold water poured over her and being beaten with a bamboo cane.

She and the five other children were deprived of food and prevented from entering the couple's fully stocked kitchen. At mealtimes, they were given a bowl containing carrots, beans, eggs and rice, or unsweetened porridge, which they had to share.

The meagre meal would be given to the children on the floor. By the time of Khyra's death, she was so thin her body mass index could not be measured on any chart. Starvation left her immune system unable to resist infection. A serious case review has started into Khyra's death.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week