A five-year-old girl allegedly murdered by her parents sustained "absolutely appalling" injuries, a court heard yesterday.
Prosecutors stressed the severity of Nadia Kalinowska's head and abdominal injuries as her mother and stepfather were both refused bail.
The child died at the family's Fernagh Drive home in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, in December 2019.
Aleksandra Wahab (26) and her 32-year-old husband Abdul Wahab are jointly charged with her murder. They also face further counts of causing or allowing Nadia's death, and grievous bodily harm with intent over a year-long period.
The couple, from Poland and Pakistan respectively, deny all allegations against them, insisting she sustained the fatal injuries falling down stairs in the middle of the night.
With the two defendants having now spent more than a year in custody, they sought release based on delays in the case.
Belfast Magistrates Court was told that a final post-mortem report is now expected at the end of this month.
But defence barristers expressed doubt that it will be ready by that stage due to ongoing Covid-19 pressures.
Gavyn Cairns, representing Aleksandra Wahab, asked: "Has there ever been a case in Northern Irish legal history where, 13 months from the date of charge, the prosecution are still absent of a post-mortem report in a murder case?"
During his client's time in custody she gave birth to a third child, which was then taken into care. Mr Cairns contended it was "fanciful, if not bordering on the ridiculous" to suggest she may flee.
Counsel for her co-accused husband described the case against the couple as "flimsy" and claimed insufficient attention has been given to the possibility they are innocent.
However, Crown lawyer Fiona O'Kane said five consultant forensic pathologists have backed the opinion of the prosecution's medical expert that the accused's accounts were unlikely to be accurate, she told the court.
With Nadia said to have had multiple fractures, Mrs O'Kane stressed: "The injuries that this deceased child sustained are absolutely appalling.
"The amount of injuries she sustained, pre-existing injuries prior to the death injuries, are extensive. We know what the cause of death was, it was an appalling head injury and an appalling abdominal injury."
Bail was denied with both defendants remanded in custody to appear again in four weeks time.