Northern Ireland news

Woman with mental health problems tried to strangle her daughter, court told

Rasa Zaman (38), of Windsor Avenue, Newtownards, Co Down, pleaded guilty at Downpatrick Crown Court to attempting to murder her four-year-old daughter and assaulting her husband Qamar Zaman occasioning him actual bodily harm last year 
Staff Reporter

A LITHUANIAN woman suffering mental health problems tried to strangle her young daughter over fears she would be removed by social services and "abused in care'', a court has heard.

Rasa Zaman (38), of Windsor Avenue, Newtownards, Co Down, pleaded guilty at Downpatrick Crown Court to attempting to murder her four-year-old daughter and assaulting her husband Qamar Zaman occasioning him actual bodily harm last year.

Following her guilty pleas, charges of making threats to kill her three children were left on the books.

Charles McCreanor QC, prosecuting, told the court on Tuesday that in October 2015 renovation work was being carried out on the Zaman family home. The family had been sleeping in one bedroom.

"It is clear that in the days before this offence the building work was having an impact on the mother.

"She was concerned for their children and there was also the build up of dust.," he said.

"On October 12, 2015, Mr Qamar Zaman woke up to hear one of the children crying.

"The defendant was standing by the bed and she was saying to her husband 'they have to die'.

The prosecution counsel said that her husband got up and pushed her away from the bed. The defendant went out of the room and the father tended to his children only to "struck on the back of the head with an LCD television''.

"He fell to the floor and it appears to have been knocked unconscious for a short period of time,'' said prosecution counsel.

"When he came to, he saw his wife's hands around the neck of their four-year-old daughter and she was strangling her."

Judge Piers Grant told Zaman that he would sentence her next week once he was assured that child protection measures were in place and remanded her back into custody.

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