A pregnant woman accused of murdering her five-year-old daughter must remain in custody due to fears she may flee to keep the new baby, a High Court judge ruled today.
Aleksandra Wahab, 26, was refused bail on charges she faces over the death of Nadia Kalinowska at their home in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.
The youngster was discovered at the Fernagh Drive address on December 15 last year.
She had head and abdominal injuries, including multiple fractures at various stages of healing.
Mrs Wahab and her 32-year-old husband Abdul Wahab, Nadia's stepfather, are jointly charged with her murder, causing or allowing the death of a child, and grievous bodily harm with intent over a year-long period.
The couple, from Poland and Pakistan respectively, deny all allegations against them and insist Nadia sustained the fatal injuries falling down stairs in the middle of the night.
But prosecutors claim further evidence of neglect has emerged.
In June 2018 a health visitor referred the girl for treatment to black and decaying teeth, the court heard.
Ten months later the referral ended when Nadia failed to attend appointments.
Mr Justice O'Hara was also told police investigating the circumstances surrounding her death found no toys, dolls or teddy bears at the family home.
A pink bicycle was located at the property, although investigations allegedly revealed it was a present from a family member in Poland rather than Nadia's parents.
School records revealed a 64% attendance rate in the months prior to her death.
Abdul Wahab remains in custody following failed attempts to secure release.
Opposing his wife's latest application for bail, prosecution counsel claimed she may abscond and not turn up for trial.
She is due to give birth to her third child within weeks, and Social Services have confirmed they intend to try to have the baby taken into care.
Fostering arrangements are already in place for Mrs Wahab's young son.
Defence counsel argued that she would not break her strong bond with the boy by leaving Northern Ireland, but would instead remain to prove her innocence.
However, Mr Justice O'Hara ruled that for now she must stay in prison, where the level of medical care will at least match that available to her on the outside.
He said: "At this time I accept there's a significant risk of Mrs Wahab absconding from this jurisdiction, not least to keep her new baby out of the care of Social Services, and I therefore refuse bail."