Khyra pair lose sentences challenge


Khyra Ishaq died in May 2008 when her body succumbed to an infection after months of starvation

The mother and stepfather of a seven-year-old girl who starved to death have lost challenges against their sentences.

Angela Gordon, 36, and her former partner Junaid Abuhamza, 32, were jailed by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court in March last year for the manslaughter of Khyra Ishaq.

The youngster died in May 2008 when her body succumbed to an infection after months of starvation at her home in Handsworth, Birmingham.

Mr Justice Roderick Evans sentenced Gordon to 15 years and jailed Abuhamza indefinitely for the public’s protection, with a minimum term of seven and a half years.

At the Court of Appeal, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and two other judges dismissed their appeals.

Lord Judge said: “This is a pitiful and profoundly distressing case.”

The trial judge branded their treatment of the child “chilling in its harshness and cruelty”.

Both defendants were also given concurrent sentences for child cruelty charges, which they had admitted, relating to five other children in their care and control.

During the trial, jurors heard that Khyra was removed from school 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 fully-stocked kitchen by a bolt fixed out of their reach on the door. By the time of her death, Khyra had lost about 40% of her body weight and was so thin that her body mass index could not be measured on any available chart.

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