Khyra death: parents set to appeal

The mother and stepfather of a seven-year-old girl who starved to death have been given the go-ahead to appeal against their sentences.

Angela Gordon, 35, and her former partner Junaid Abuhamza, 31, were jailed by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court in March for the manslaughter of Khyra Ishaq.

The youngster died in May 2008 when her body succumbed to an infection after months of starvation at her home in Handsworth, Birmingham.

Mr Justice Roderick Evans sentenced Gordon to 15 years and jailed Abuhamza indefinitely for the public’s protection, with a minimum term of seven-and-a-half years, branding their treatment of the child “chilling in its harshness and cruelty”.

Gordon and Abuhamza later applied to the Court of Appeal for leave to challenge their sentences.

It was confirmed on Thursday that a single judge has granted them permission after reviewing the papers in the case.

Their full appeals will be heard by judges at the Court of Appeal in London at a date to be fixed.

Both defendants, who were cleared of Khyra’s murder, were also given concurrent sentences for child cruelty charges, which they had admitted, relating to five other children in their care and control.

During the trial, jurors heard that Khyra was removed from school and subjected to a punishment regime which included standing outside in the cold or in front of a fan for long periods, having cold water poured over her and being beaten with a bamboo cane.

By the time of her death, Khyra had lost about 40% of her body weight and was so thin that her body mass index could not be measured on any available chart.

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