Starved 7 year old girl's mother only guilty of manslaughter – Is our justice system too lenient?

by 21stcenturymummy on February 25, 2010

The heart-breaking story of Khyra Ishaq, who was maltreated and starved to death at the hands of her mother and step-father, was in the news today as their trial ended.

Source: BBC.co.uk 25 February 2010

“A mother who starved her seven-year-old daughter to death has been cleared of murder, but has admitted manslaughter. Prosecutors accepted Angela Gordon’s defence of diminished responsibility over the death of Khyra Ishaq and agreed to the lesser charge. Gordon’s partner, Junaid Abuhamza, had a manslaughter plea accepted as too, following an earlier report on his mental health. Khyra was found severely emaciated at a house in Handsworth, Birmingham, in 2008 and died in hospital…”.

Read the full story on BBC.co.uk here

I don’t understand how anyone could do this to a child and I don’t understand our legal system. I know I am not an expert, but to me this should still be classed as murder.The abuse had gone on for years and she ended up being starved to death by her mother and her step-father. So, to say that it is manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, (apparently the mother had severe depression) isn’t that being far too lenient?  Anyone can say they are mentally ill! What message does it send out?

And yet again social services have failed. They failed to spot what was happening, despite being alerted several times. Why didn’t they pick up a) on the abuse that was happening to the children and b) on the mother’s and partner’s mental health problems? Her father also didn’t pick up there were any problems, despite not being allowed into the house.

What is going on in this country? It fills me with so much anger. What do you think?

{ 12 comments }

Heather February 26, 2010 at 5:27 am

I haven’t heard about this not having checked the news websites for a few days.

Based purely on what you have written here i think manslaughter is far too lenient. She was starved to death? Jesus, this isn’t a one off event starvation takes systematic abuse over a period of time.

there should be a special punishment for people that do things like this their own children. Especially for ones that then refuse to take responsibility for what they have done and try to get themselves off!

21stcenturymum February 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Of course I’m not an expert, it seems as though in case after case (including the recent case of Baby P), people who abusing children are being let off far too lightly. May be it’s because I’m a mum, but I think their punishment should be extremely severe. I do have some sort of sympathy for women/men who suddenly snap, perhaps those suffering with post natal depression or something similar (in the news recently a woman smothered her two children). However in this case, the case of Baby P and others, the systematic abuse and cruelty has been ongoing for a lengthy period of time. These people knew what they were doing and there is no excuse.

Heather February 26, 2010 at 5:27 am

I haven’t heard about this not having checked the news websites for a few days.

Based purely on what you have written here i think manslaughter is far too lenient. She was starved to death? Jesus, this isn’t a one off event starvation takes systematic abuse over a period of time.

there should be a special punishment for people that do things like this their own children. Especially for ones that then refuse to take responsibility for what they have done and try to get themselves off!

21stcenturymum February 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Of course I’m not an expert, it seems as though in case after case (including the recent case of Baby P), people who abusing children are being let off far too lightly. May be it’s because I’m a mum, but I think their punishment should be extremely severe. I do have some sort of sympathy for women/men who suddenly snap, perhaps those suffering with post natal depression or something similar (in the news recently a woman smothered her two children). However in this case, the case of Baby P and others, the systematic abuse and cruelty has been ongoing for a lengthy period of time. These people knew what they were doing and there is no excuse.

The Mad House February 26, 2010 at 10:53 am

Fury, I can not express how upset and angry this made me. It is unacceptable in everyway possible. I am MAD just thinking about it again.

The Mad House February 26, 2010 at 10:53 am

Fury, I can not express how upset and angry this made me. It is unacceptable in everyway possible. I am MAD just thinking about it again.

angelsandurchinsblog March 2, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I’m not getting the whole manslaughter thing either, and the father – who hadn’t seen his daughter for a year – blaming everyone but himself made me apopletic. I can’t understand, therefore I can’t empathise. I also can’t really understand why the school didn’t do more; apparently the girl was fixated with food, tried to steal food from other children’s plates, and clearly looked undernourished. I suppose sometimes you don’t want to interfere, but it gave me a jolt to think something could happen to a school age child and no one pick up on it.

21stcenturymum March 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Hi, good point. I read an article/post yesterday (unfortunately I can’t remember where) about how fathers should have a responsibility too. Baby P’s father is suing Haringey Council for failing to protect him, but where was he when all this was going on? Surely he should have picked up something was wrong? It’s the same in this situation too. The father in this case wasn’t allowed in the house. Why didn’t it ring alarm bells??? It’s crazy!

angelsandurchinsblog March 2, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I’m not getting the whole manslaughter thing either, and the father – who hadn’t seen his daughter for a year – blaming everyone but himself made me apopletic. I can’t understand, therefore I can’t empathise. I also can’t really understand why the school didn’t do more; apparently the girl was fixated with food, tried to steal food from other children’s plates, and clearly looked undernourished. I suppose sometimes you don’t want to interfere, but it gave me a jolt to think something could happen to a school age child and no one pick up on it.

21stcenturymum March 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Hi, good point. I read an article/post yesterday (unfortunately I can’t remember where) about how fathers should have a responsibility too. Baby P’s father is suing Haringey Council for failing to protect him, but where was he when all this was going on? Surely he should have picked up something was wrong? It’s the same in this situation too. The father in this case wasn’t allowed in the house. Why didn’t it ring alarm bells??? It’s crazy!

Crystal Jigsaw March 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

In a word – YES, it is too lenient. It actually infuriates me beyond disgust that “do-gooders” are being allowed to get away with dictating many of our rules so far as the justice system is concerned.

I am sorry to say this, and I’ll probably be shot down in flames, but an eye for an eye. We need harsh punishment; it’s the only way to deter the bastards who are getting off scot free.

Take the Venebles case for eg. He’s back inside. WTF did they expect? For him to be a reformed character, helping little old ladies across the street, singing nursery rhymes in kids schools? For God’s sake, this country needs to get a grip.

CJ xx

p.s. sorry for the rant!!

Crystal Jigsaw March 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

In a word – YES, it is too lenient. It actually infuriates me beyond disgust that “do-gooders” are being allowed to get away with dictating many of our rules so far as the justice system is concerned.

I am sorry to say this, and I’ll probably be shot down in flames, but an eye for an eye. We need harsh punishment; it’s the only way to deter the bastards who are getting off scot free.

Take the Venebles case for eg. He’s back inside. WTF did they expect? For him to be a reformed character, helping little old ladies across the street, singing nursery rhymes in kids schools? For God’s sake, this country needs to get a grip.

CJ xx

p.s. sorry for the rant!!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Starved 7 year old girl's mother only guilty of manslaughter – Is our justice system too lenient?

by 21stcenturymummy on February 25, 2010

The heart-breaking story of Khyra Ishaq, who was maltreated and starved to death at the hands of her mother and step-father, was in the news today as their trial ended.

Source: BBC.co.uk 25 February 2010

“A mother who starved her seven-year-old daughter to death has been cleared of murder, but has admitted manslaughter. Prosecutors accepted Angela Gordon’s defence of diminished responsibility over the death of Khyra Ishaq and agreed to the lesser charge. Gordon’s partner, Junaid Abuhamza, had a manslaughter plea accepted as too, following an earlier report on his mental health. Khyra was found severely emaciated at a house in Handsworth, Birmingham, in 2008 and died in hospital…”.

Read the full story on BBC.co.uk here

I don’t understand how anyone could do this to a child and I don’t understand our legal system. I know I am not an expert, but to me this should still be classed as murder. [click to continue…]

{ 6 comments }

Heather February 26, 2010 at 5:27 am

I haven’t heard about this not having checked the news websites for a few days.

Based purely on what you have written here i think manslaughter is far too lenient. She was starved to death? Jesus, this isn’t a one off event starvation takes systematic abuse over a period of time.

there should be a special punishment for people that do things like this their own children. Especially for ones that then refuse to take responsibility for what they have done and try to get themselves off!

21stcenturymum February 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Of course I’m not an expert, it seems as though in case after case (including the recent case of Baby P), people who abusing children are being let off far too lightly. May be it’s because I’m a mum, but I think their punishment should be extremely severe. I do have some sort of sympathy for women/men who suddenly snap, perhaps those suffering with post natal depression or something similar (in the news recently a woman smothered her two children). However in this case, the case of Baby P and others, the systematic abuse and cruelty has been ongoing for a lengthy period of time. These people knew what they were doing and there is no excuse.

The Mad House February 26, 2010 at 10:53 am

Fury, I can not express how upset and angry this made me. It is unacceptable in everyway possible. I am MAD just thinking about it again.

angelsandurchinsblog March 2, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I’m not getting the whole manslaughter thing either, and the father – who hadn’t seen his daughter for a year – blaming everyone but himself made me apopletic. I can’t understand, therefore I can’t empathise. I also can’t really understand why the school didn’t do more; apparently the girl was fixated with food, tried to steal food from other children’s plates, and clearly looked undernourished. I suppose sometimes you don’t want to interfere, but it gave me a jolt to think something could happen to a school age child and no one pick up on it.

21stcenturymum March 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Hi, good point. I read an article/post yesterday (unfortunately I can’t remember where) about how fathers should have a responsibility too. Baby P’s father is suing Haringey Council for failing to protect him, but where was he when all this was going on? Surely he should have picked up something was wrong? It’s the same in this situation too. The father in this case wasn’t allowed in the house. Why didn’t it ring alarm bells??? It’s crazy!

Crystal Jigsaw March 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

In a word – YES, it is too lenient. It actually infuriates me beyond disgust that “do-gooders” are being allowed to get away with dictating many of our rules so far as the justice system is concerned.

I am sorry to say this, and I’ll probably be shot down in flames, but an eye for an eye. We need harsh punishment; it’s the only way to deter the bastards who are getting off scot free.

Take the Venebles case for eg. He’s back inside. WTF did they expect? For him to be a reformed character, helping little old ladies across the street, singing nursery rhymes in kids schools? For God’s sake, this country needs to get a grip.

CJ xx

p.s. sorry for the rant!!

Comments on this entry are closed.

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