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Family Members to Face Trial for Murder of 10-Year-Old Sara Sharif

Three family members of 10-year-old Sara Sharif are set to stand trial for her murder after her body was discovered concealed under a blanket on a bunk bed. Sara’s father, Urfan Sharif, aged 42, her stepmother, Beinash Batool, aged 29, and her uncle, Faisal Malik, aged 28, are accused of the heinous crime.

During a court appearance at the Old Bailey via video-link on Friday, all three defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and causing or allowing the death of a child between December 16, 2022, and August 9, 2023. The presiding judge, Mark Lucraft, scheduled the trial to commence on October 1, to be heard before High Court judge Mr. Justice Cavanagh. The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.

The grim discovery of Sara’s body was made at her residence in Woking, where she was found under a blanket on a bunk bed. The police were alerted to the situation following a call from Pakistan, which lasted eight minutes and 34 seconds, at 2:47 am on August 10, 2023. It was revealed that the defendants had booked a flight to Pakistan two days prior to Sara’s discovery.

Prosecutors disclosed to the court that Sara exhibited “a constellation of healed and healing injuries,” indicating potential prior abuse or neglect. The defendants, accompanied by five children, departed the UK for Pakistan the day before Sara’s body was found. Upon their return to the UK on September 13, they were promptly arrested at Gatwick Airport.

The defendants, formerly residing on Hammond Road in Woking, appeared from Belmarsh and Bronzefield prisons during the court proceedings and were remanded into custody pending trial.

The case has drawn widespread attention and underscores the importance of safeguarding vulnerable individuals within the community, particularly children, against acts of violence and neglect.

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