Ayesha Ali ‘murder’: Prosecutor tells court girl may have been ‘tortured’

Police outside the Broomfield Road house where Ayesha's body was found back in August 2013. Picture:

Police outside the Broomfield Road house where Ayesha's body was found back in August 2013. Picture: Ellie Hoskins - Credit: Archant

A jury was asked to think that truth may be “stranger than fiction” when considering how far a mother and her lover may have been involved in the death of her eight-year-old daughter.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told the Old Bailey that Ayesha Ali, who was found dead in her Chadwell Heath bedroom in August 2013, had endured a “background of prolonged abuse, some might even consider it torture”.

A bite mark and carpet burns were among her numerous injuries.

Her mother Polly Chowdhury, 35 and Kiki Muddar, 43, are jointly accused of killing the little girl.

Muddar, of Green Lane, Ilford, and Chowdhury, of Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, deny murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child between March 1 and August 29, 2013.

The Old Bailey has heard that Chowdhury’s neighbour Muddar had invented a cast of fictitious characters on Facebook and in text messages to seduce Chowdhury and poison her mind against her daughter.

Masquerading as a spirit guide Skyman, Muddar had convinced her that Ayesha had “bad blood” and had to be disciplined to get the “evil spirits” out of her, the court heard.

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In noting the evidence about the messages in his closing speech, Mr Whittam recalled thinking: “Am I really standing, as I am, in the Central Criminal Court reading messages with this content? But truth is stranger than fiction.”

Chowdhury admitted that after Muddar had moved in, they smacked Ayesha and hit her with a wooden spoon on text message instructions from Skyman.

Mr Whittam suggested that Chowdhury’s evidence in her defence “did not stand up to examination” and that her “integrity or lack of it had been exposed”.

Of Muddar who did not testify, Mr Whittam said: “We submit that there is in fact a clear case for her to answer and, if you agree, her silence is something that you can take in to account.

“You are entitled to consider that the only sensible answer to the silence is that she has no answer – and no answer that would bear examination.

“I would put it to you that there a case to answer and if she had gone in to the witness box and been asked questions about it, would her account bear scrutiny?”

Mr Whittam said the women had been “engaged in a relationship” in which they shared a bed.

Weighing three and half stones and standing at 4ft 7ins tall, Ayesha was not in a position to resist anything that was done to her, the court was told.

Her injuries also included a black eye, bruising to the chin, injuries to her hips and back, “a blow across the lips which almost certainly caused that damage to her mouth” and a bite by Chowdhury, Mr Whittam suggested.

She says that she can not remember biting the girl, but Mr Whittam added: “However questionable she may be, can she really not remember herself doing that, biting her own child, or is it that she can not accept what she had done?”

A blow to the head was the cause of death but Ayesha did not die straight away, jurors heard.

Mr Whittam noted that amid the circumstantial evidence that “only two people know what led to those events [toward the end of August 2013] and that is these two defendants”.