Family Of Girl, Khyra Ishaq, Starved To Death, To Sue Birmingham City Council

Family Of Girl Starved To Death To Sue Council

The siblings of a little girl who starved to death at her home after a series of "missed opportunities" to save her by children's services are suing the council involved.

Khyra Ishaq died in May 2008 following months of starvation and cruelty at the hands of her mother and stepfather.

Tony Hall, a partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) in Birmingham, is representing Khyra's biological father Ishaq Abu-Zaire, her siblings and her estate in the legal action.

A crown court trial heard that Khyra and five other children in the care of her mother Angela Gordon and her former partner Junaid Abuhamza were deprived of food and prevented from entering the fully stocked kitchen at their Handsworth home by a bolt fixed out of their reach on the door.

In March 2010, Mr Justice Roderick Evans sentenced Gordon to 15 years and jailed Abuhamza indefinitely for the public's protection, with a minimum term of seven and a half years, after they were convicted of manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court.

A serious case review published four months later concluded Khyra's death could have been prevented and occurred after the authorities in the city "lost sight" of her.

The report found that poor communication between agencies meant that the children's plight - and Khyra's plummeting weight - went largely unnoticed.

Mr Hall, a partner at ACS, said: "We can confirm Anthony Collins Solicitors has submitted a letter of claim against Birmingham City Council.

"The clients are the estate of Khyra Ishaq, her biological father and the surviving siblings.

"The claim against the council alleges that it owed a duty of care to the children and that the negligence of Birmingham City Council's social services and its refusal to act played a key part in the longevity of the abuse.

"The council has until the end of January to respond by making admissions or denying the allegations.

"The amount of compensation the family will be entitled to is yet to be calculated and will depend on the extent of the physical and psychological impact on the individuals concerned.

"The claim is being pursued through the benefit of legal aid which after April of this year will not be available for cases of this type."

Birmingham City Council said it was inappropriate to comment with legal proceedings ongoing.

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