Co Antrim girl (5) was subjected to campaign of child abuse before death, murder trial told
Her mother Aleksandra Wahab (28) and 34-year step-father Abdul Wahab have been charged with murdering her
Yesterday at 16:26
A “beautiful and innocent” five-year-old girl was tortured and killed in the Co Antrim home where she should have felt safe and secure, a jury has heard.
Nadia Zofia Kalinowska was pronounced dead at the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children in the early hours of December 15, 2019.
Her mother Aleksandra Wahab (28) and her 34-year step-father Abdul Wahab have been charged with murdering her in the family home at Fernagh Drive in Newtownabbey.
The couple are also suspected of carrying out a campaign of abuse against the schoolgirl in the months leading up to her death, and face multiple charges of child cruelty and causing Nadia grievous bodily harm with intent. They both deny the 14 charges that they each face.
As he opened the prosecution’s case to the jury of seven men and five women at Belfast Crown Court, Liam McCollum KC outlined a catalogue of injuries noted by medics who tended to the girl, many of which are believed to have been happened prior to her death.
As well as sustaining a skull fracture and lacerated liver which caused her death, Nadia had also suffered fractures and re-fractures to her ribs, a fractured collarbone, a broken pelvis and an injury to her bowel.
It was heard that many of these wounds would have required “significant blunt force” and caused obvious signs of distress. Nadia also had 70 surface injuries including bruising and abrasions which Mr McCollum said would have been clearly visible.
The prosecutor added that Nadia was rushed to hospital after Mr Wahab made a 999 call in the early hours of December 15, 2019.
When they arrived, paramedics treated the unconscious child in an upstairs bedroom and observed what they believed to be non-accidental injuries, which prompted them to contact the PSNI.
Nadia was rushed to the Royal, and despite extensive medical intervention, she never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 3.40am.
The court heard that despite the older injuries, neither Nadia’s mother nor step-father sought any medical attention for her prior to her being brought to hospital on December 15.
Following Nadia’s death, Mr and Mrs Wahab were arrested on suspicion of murder.
Mrs Wahab claimed that in the early hours of December 15, she was woken by the sound of something heavy falling. She told police she got up and saw Nadia lying at the bottom of the stairs, and told her mother she was in pain.
When he was questioned, Mr Wahab said he was woken by his wife who informed him something had happened to Nadia. He claimed he saw the girl at the bottom of the stairs, then lifted her and took her upstairs.
He added that when he observed blood coming from Nadia’s head, he washed her in the bathroom before taking her into a bedroom and calling 999.
Mr McCollum revealed that both said all the injuries sustained to Nadia were accidental. He described this as a “preposterous claim” given the “sheer weight and magnitude of the injuries” sustained in the lead-up to her death.
He told the jury it was the Crown’s case that Nadia was subjected to a “campaign of child abuse” involving multiple assaults before her death.
The trial continues.