Northern Ireland news

Court hears 'beautiful and innocent' girl (5) was tortured and killed in Co Antrim home where she should have 'felt safe and secure'

Five-year-old Nadia Zofia Kalinowska died in December 2019. Her mother and step-father have denied murdering her in their Newtownabbey home. Picture: PSNI

A JURY has heard that a "beautiful and innocent" five-year old girl was tortured and killed in the Co Antrim home where she should have "felt safe and secure".

Nadia Zofia Kalinowska was pronounced dead by medics at the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children on December 15, 2019.

Her mother Aleksandra Wahab (28) and step-father Abdul Wahab (34) have both been charged with murdering her in the family home at Fernagh Drive, Newtownabbey.

The couple are also suspected of carrying out a campaign of abuse against the schoolgirl in the months leading up to her death, and face multiple charges of child cruelty and causing Nadia grievous bodily with intent.

They have denied all 14 charges levelled against both of them.

As he opened the prosecution's case at Belfast Crown Court, Liam McCollum KC outlined a catalogue of injuries noted by medics who tended to the youngster - many of which are believed to have been sustained prior to her death.

As well as sustaining a skull fracture and lacerated liver which caused her death, Nadia had also suffered fractures and re-fractures to her ribs, fractured collarbone, fractured pelvis and a bowel injury.

The jury heard many of these wounds would have required "significant blunt force" and caused obvious signs of distress.

Also present at Nadia's time of death were 70 surface injuries including bruising and abrasions which Mr McCollum said would have been clearly visible.

The prosecutor said Nadia was rushed to hospital after her Abdul Wahab made a 999 call in the early hours of December 15, 2019.

Paramedics treated the unconscious child in an upstairs bedroom and observed what they believed to be non-accidental injuries, prompting them to contact police.

Nadia was rushed to the RVH and despite extensive medical intervention, never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 3.40am.

The court heard despite the older injuries, neither Nadia's mother nor step-father sought any medical attention for her prior to her being rushed to hospital on December 15.

In the aftermath of Nadia's death, the couple were arrested on suspicion of murder.

Mrs Wahab claimed that in the early hours of December 15, she was woken by something heavy falling, telling police she found Nadia lying at the bottom of the stairs.

Mr Wahab also said he saw Nadia at the bottom of the stairs, lifted her and took her upstairs.

He said when he saw blood coming from Nadia's head, he washed her in the bathroom before taking her into a bedroom and calling 999.

The prosecutor said both accused claimed all Nadia's injuries were accidential, which Mr McCollum said was a "proposterous claim" given the "sheer weight and magnitude of the injuries" sustained in the lead-up to her death.

He said it was the Crown's case that Nadia was subjected to a "campaign of child abuse" involving multiple assaults before her death.

He described the girl as a "beautiful, innocent five-year old child who was tortured and killed in a place where she should have felt safe and secure".

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