Friday 20 April 2018

Couple found guilty of child cruelty to seven-month-old

Kim Pilling

A couple said to have swapped the identity of their dead baby daughter to her twin sister in a bid to conceal a catalogue of injuries they caused have been found guilty of child cruelty.

The seven-month-old was rushed to hospital after her parents reported she had breathing difficulties and was pronounced dead shortly after.

The Crown said Mohammed Karolia, 29, and his wife Nafisa, 22, told medics at Royal Blackburn Hospital that she was the healthier and smaller of their identical twins before they allegedly later switched to naming her sibling on the death certificate.

Preston Crown Court heard the defendants made a deliberate attempt to hide the ailing twin from the outside world in the weeks leading up to her death in June 2009.

The couple denied any baby swap, which was described as "fanciful" and "far-fetched" but the jury today convicted them of the offences.

The jury reached its decision after less than six hours of deliberation following a five-week trial.

Remanding the couple in custody, Mr Justice Irwin told them: "You will both inevitably face considerable prison sentences.

"As you know, this was a bad case of child cruelty. However, I want to know as much as possible about it before deciding the length of sentence."

He adjourned the case for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports.

The hearing will take place on a date to be fixed in October.

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