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Husband and wife to face prosecution for alleged murder of daughter (5)

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Police at the scene in the Fernagh Drive area of Newtownabbey

Police at the scene in the Fernagh Drive area of Newtownabbey

Kevin Scott

Police at the scene in the Fernagh Drive area of Newtownabbey

A husband and wife are to face prosecution for the alleged murder of their five-year-old daughter in Co Antrim, it was confirmed in the High Court today.

The decision to proceed with charges against Aleksandra and Abdul Wahab was taken after a final autopsy report was obtained.

They are also set to be accused of further offences based on the "multitude" of injuries Nadia Kalinowkska sustained, a judge was told.

The development came as the child's 26-year-old mother was once again refused bail.

Nadia died at the family's home on Fernagh Drive, Newtownabbey in December 2019.

She had head and abdominal wounds, including multiple fractures said to be at various stages of healing.

Mrs Wahab, a Polish national, and her 32-year-old Pakistani husband - Nadia's stepfather - were arrested and have remained in custody ever since.

The couple deny any wrongdoing and claim Nadia was a clumsy, accident-prone girl who sustained the fatal injuries falling down stairs in the middle of the night.

In court today prosecutors revealed that a 30-page post-mortem report has now been obtained.

Crown lawyer Fiona O'Kane contended: "The autopsy makes for very grim reading."

Based on its contents, charges of murder and causing or allowing the death of a child are to be pursued.

"There will be additional charges in line with the multitude of injuries that the child sustained in the recent days up to her death," Mrs O'Kane said.

"But I can confirm the prosecution decision is to proceed with murder (charges) against this applicant and her co-accused."

Police have also sent 1,500 pages of material to the Public Prosecution Service as part of the investigation.

Aleksandra Wahab's renewed application for bail was opposed due to concerns she may attempt to flee the jurisdiction.

Defence counsel Frank O'Donoghue QC argued that the case against Mrs Wahab is "very, very weak".

"There's a lengthy time-span within which these injuries could have occurred," he insisted.

"There's no evidence to suggest it was my client who was responsible for perpetrating any of these injuries."

Instead, Mr O'Donoghue contended, the prosecution is still likely to end up with accusations of child cruelty.

However, Mr Justice McFarland ruled that Aleksandra Wahab must remain in custody.

Denying bail, he said: "In my view there remains a significant flight risk."

Belfast Telegraph


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