Polly Chowdhury trial: ‘Murder mum’ cries in court as she describes final hours of daughter’s life

Eight-year-old Ayesha Ali was found dead at her home in Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, in August 2

Eight-year-old Ayesha Ali was found dead at her home in Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, in August 2013 - Credit: Archant

A mum accused of murdering her daughter wept in court as she described the final hours of her child’s life.

Giving evidence in her defence, Polly Chowdhury, 35, denied being present when her lover punished the eight-year-old girl on the day that she died.

She told the Old Bailey that Kiki Muddar had made Ayesha Ali have a cold bath as punishment for wetting herself.

After hearing noises coming from the bathroom, Chowdhury found Ayesha on the floor in her pants with Muddar’s foot on her chest, she said.

After pushing Muddar off, the women put Ayesha into the cold bath before Chowdhury went back into the sitting room to use her laptop.

Muddar, 43, told her that Ayesha was messing around so Chowdhury went into the bathroom and told her to stop before returning to the sitting room.

Then, at about 6pm, Muddar called out from the hallway to say Ayesha was drowning and Chowdhury went into the bathroom, where she found Ayesha under the water.

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“I thought she had tried to drown herself,” Chowdhury said. “We lay her on the floor and I asked Kiki to help because I did not know what to do. Kiki did CPR.”

She went on: “She [Ayesha] did not seem herself. She was pretty cold and very stiff and her eyes were not closing properly. I was very distressed. I was crying. I was hugging her. I was crying out for Skyman [a fictional character invented by Muddar] to help me.”

Chowdhury admitted putting a pillow over Ayesha’s head to ease her suffering before trying to kill herself.

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 trial continues.

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