Polly Chowdhury trial: Accused mum believes lover hit girl on the head

Ayesha Ali was found dead in Bedwell Court, Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, in August 2013

Ayesha Ali was found dead in Bedwell Court, Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, in August 2013 - Credit: Archant

A mum accused of murdering her eight-year-old daughter told a prison officer she believed her lover had hit the girl on the head, a court heard today.

Polly Chowdhury, 35, described how Ayesha Ali was punished for wetting herself by being forced to take a bath of cold water.

Chowdhury said that she was using her laptop when Kiki Muddar, 43, told her: “I think she’s drowned.”

“Polly said she went into the bathroom and the girl was under the water,” Lisa Donohue, an officer at HMP Holloway said.

“She noticed there was some blood coming from her head. At the time she didn’t know how the girl got the blow to the head, she now believed that Kiki had done it.”

During the same conversation in June last year - 10 months after the alleged murder - Chowdhury admitted beating her children because “she was made to believe her children were evil and bad”.

Jurors were shown a video of Muddar being interviewed by police initially as a witness following the death of Ayesha Ali.

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She wept as she told how she called 999 on the morning of August 29, 2013 after finding Ayesha in the bath.

The Old Bailey also heard evidence from paramedic Laura Ward who told how moments after the little girl was pronounced dead, Muddar told the ambulance crew that Ayesha had tried to drown herself and that the child self-harmed.

“She stated Ayesha was a naughty child and Polly thought Ayesha had been possessed by the devil,” Ms Ward said.

“She said she refused to make her bed and that she was lazy.”

Both Chowdhury, of Bedwell Court, Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, and Muddar, of Green Lane, Ilford, deny murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.