A girl of three was stabbed to death by her schizophrenic mother who then tried to dissolve the body in acid, a court heard yesterday.
The day before, social workers had visited the rented property amid concerns it was unsuitable for the child and questions over whether she was being adequately ‘supervised’.
But they left after deciding that Alia seemed healthy and ‘happy enough’, and told her 25-year-old mother, Iman Omar Yousef, that they would be checking on Alia’s medical records.
The court heard that later that evening, Yousef, a Somali asylum seeker, took the child to a police station in Birmingham city centre where she demanded officers find them new accommodation in a hostel.
After being told there was none available, the pair returned to their home in the city’s Erdington suburb on foot and by bus – the last time Alia was seen alive.
The next morning, Yousef travelled to Leicester to the home of her mother – who was
immediately worried that Alia was not with her.
After Yousef told an aunt that Alia was ‘in a safe place’, her mother rang police who forced entry into Yousef’s home.
Prosecutor James Burbidge QC told the court that officers were confronted by the ‘truly shocking sight’ of the child’s decomposed body in a room thick with the smell of acid.
Yousef had covered her daughter’s torso with bin liners.
Mr Burbidge said Yousef had allegedly poured a substance believed to be sulphuric acid over her daughter’s torso, which had ‘penetrated deeply’.
He added: ‘As a result, it is difficult for the experts to be specific about the cause of death.
‘She hadn’t drunk any (corrosive) fluid. It is likely she was deeply unconscious or dead when it was applied to her body.’
Mr Burbidge told the jury at Birmingham Crown Court that Alia was ‘killed swiftly’ and that knife imprints which went through the carpet, underlay and floorboards matched a ‘large kitchen knife’ type weapon.
It is believed that Yousef dumped the knife and the remnants of the acid on her journey to Leicester on February 13 this year.
Dr James Lucas, a forensic psychologist, told the court that Alia had suffered ‘dozens of penetrating injuries of various shapes and sizes’ to the chest.
Yousef had been living in Holland before moving to the UK in 2007.
Her family told officers they had been concerned about her mental health since she arrived from the Netherlands. She had been talking to herself and had started carrying knives.
Yousef had been charged with murder but was yesterday ruled unfit to plead to the charge.
This followed evidence from three psychiatrists who all agreed she was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia with visual hallucinations.
Yousef was not in court when the trial began yesterday.
Mr Burbidge told the jury that ‘in this unusual set of circumstances’, they must decide if Yousef committed the unlawful killing of her daughter.
The case continues.