Inquiry begins into death of child in neglect case

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The Independent Online

An independent inquiry began yesterday into the death of a girl aged seven alleged to have starved to death at her home.

After a meeting to discuss the death in hospital on Saturday of Khyra Ishaq, the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board began a "serious case review" into the circumstances.

The local MP, Khalid Mahmood, accused local authorities of "hiding behind their statutory obligations" and failing the community. "I am disappointed in as much that this is the statutory obligation for the local authority to carry out," he said. "What I find amazing is that we are not doing anything above what is required. The local community should be given psychological support, counselling services should be offered. No centre has been set up by the local authority to facilitate that or even provide a point of contact."

Police are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination on Khyra's body, but sources have said she is believed to have died of starvation. She and her five siblings are reported to have been in an emaciated state when paramedics were called to their home in the Handsworth area of Birmingham.

Angela Gordon, 33, and Junaid Abuhamza, 29 – Khyra's mother and her partner – have appeared in court charged with causing or allowing her death through neglect.