Starvation girl Khyra Ishaq lived in a house stocked with food
Feb 25 2010 By Danielle Dwyer, Press Association
The tragic image of Khyra Ishaq's skeletal body seen by shocked jurors contrasted sharply with pictures of a well-stocked family kitchen shown to the court.
The seven-year-old Birmingham girl died when her fragile body succumbed to an infection after months of "deliberate starvation", prosecutors said.
But Khyra did not perish in a home of bare cupboards. She starved to death as bowls of fresh fruit, tins of sweets and shelves of groceries filled the kitchen.
Jurors were shown a series of pictures from inside the terrace house where Khyra lived with five other children under the care of Gordon and Abuhamza, including photographs of the kitchen and a bamboo cane used as part of a "punishment regime".
Timothy Raggatt QC told jurors at Birmingham Crown Court: "It isn't that this house was short of food. As you can see, there is lots of food in this household."
But the court heard that the kitchen was kept locked by a bolt "out of the reach of the children" to prevent them helping themselves to food.
At mealtimes they were given a bowl containing carrots, beans, eggs and rice, or unsweetened porridge, to share between them.
The meagre meal would be placed before them on the floor of the room in which they slept on bare mattresses.
Mr Raggatt said: "The essence of it was this, what they got was a single bowl of food to share between the six of them.
"They didn't get the means to eat it separately. They didn't get separate meals. They were given a bowl of food and they, as it were, got what they could from the bowl of food.
"If a child ate too much, then they would be hit with the cane that I showed you a picture of."