Woman killed child to remove 'jinn'

First published in United Kingdom news

A Muslim woman “sacrificed” her daughter to God to exorcise evil spirits, the Old Bailey heard.

Shayma Ali, 36, stabbed the girl up to 40 times and took out her liver while Quaranic verses played in the background.

When police arrived at their east London home, the woman was chanting: “I seek refuge in God from the curse of Satan”.

The court was told Ali had sunk suddenly and deeply into mental illness and was convinced the spirits or jinn had entered the bodies of members of her family.

The four-year-old had remained at home in December last year because she had been ill and was not allowed to go to nursery.

After her arrest, Ali told her husband: “Suddenly it came into my mind that I should correct my behaviour towards Allah.

”Then a voice told me ‘if you love Allah you should sacrifice your daughter.”’ She told a doctor she strangled the child and when she was unconscious, she carried her on to the kitchen table where she used the knife to ensure the spirits were exorcised.

Duncan Atkinson, prosecuting, said Ali was praying when she became aware about God calling to Abraham to sacrifice his son and became convinced God wanted her to sacrifice her child.

Ali pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

She was sent to a mental hospital without limit of time after doctors said she was suffering from psychosis.

Peter Wilcock, defending, said: “It is hard to imagine a more tragic and distressing case. She became mentally ill and didn’t seek treatment.”

Judge Anthony Morris told Ali: “One of the horrifying aspects of this case is how quickly you lost control of yourself.”

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