Manslaughter of eight-year-old Ayesha Ali by mother, Polly Chowdhury, and Kiki Muddar

Thursday 5 March 2015

Henry Blaxland QC, Ali Bajwa QC and Dafna Spiro QC represented Polly Chowdhury and Kiki Muddar, the defendants accused of murdering Ayesha Ali. On 4 March, a jury at the Old Bailey acquitted the women of murder but convicted them of manslaughter by a majority of 10-2 after deliberating for more than 31 hours.

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The case has been reported widely in the media, including by the BBC, the Guardian, The Independent, The Mirror and the Evening Standard.

Polly Chowdhury, the girl’s mother, was represented by Ali Bajwa QC. Kiki Muddar was represented by Henry Blaxland QC and Dafna Spiro. Both Polly Chowdhury and Kiki Muddar were tried for the murder of Chowdhury’s eight-year-old daughter, Ayesha Ali. The child died from a head injury but the mechanism of death was not known. Each defendant blamed the other for inflicting the injuries.

Muddar, diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder and a narcissistic personality disorder, had invented fictitious characters each of whom sent messages to Chowdhury to turn her against her daughter. The characters included a Muslim spirit called “Skyman”. There were highly complicated psychiatric and pathology issues involved in the case.

Both women will be sentenced on Friday 6 March.

Henry Blaxland QC, Ali Bajwa QC and Dafna Spiro are all members of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team.

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