Mother who starved daughter released early from prison

The mother who starved her seven-year-old girl to death has been released from prison after serving less than her 15-year sentence in Britain.

Angela Gordon, 42, admitted to killing her daughter Khyra Ishaq and subjecting five other children to horrific cruelty. 

She was jailed for 15 years in February 2010, along with Khyra’s stepdad Junaid Abuhamza who was given an indeterminate seven-and-a-half year minimum sentence. Both had admitted to manslaughter.

But it has recently emerged that Gordon was released from prison earlier this year- serving just seven years of her allocated time.

Seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq, pictured, was found dead in May 2008 after being starved and beaten

Khyra's father Ishaq Abuzaire, 46, picutred, cannot believe that his ex-wife has been released from prison

Khyra’s father Ishaq Abuzaire, 46, picutred, cannot believe that his ex-wife has been released from prison

The victim’s father Ishaq Abuzaire, 46, has slammed prison chiefs for releasing Gordon and claims no one from the Ministry of Justice warned him of his ex-wife’s release. 

Mr Abuzaire said: ‘I got a letter from the NSPCC to say she had been released around April time but no one from the authorities has been in touch. It is ridiculous.

‘I don’t know where she is. I was never told. They only told me the month she would be released. 

In May 2008, Khyra was found dead weighing just 2st 9lb- she had lost 40 per cent of her body weight after catching a chest infection.

Six months before, Gordon had taken Khyra out of school to be educated at her home in Handsworth, Birmingham, where Gordon’s schizophrenic partner Abuhamza also lived.

Khyra’s school had previously raised concerns about her died but Gordon reportedly did not allow social services onto the property.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how Khyra and five other children were beaten with a bamboo cane and drenched in water before being forced to stand outside, freezing in their underwear.

The children were fed from bowls in their upstairs bedroom and given tiny portions, or not fed at all.  

Abuhamza, a Muslim covert, said that this was designed to teach them the ‘Islamic perspective about being dutiful to your parents.’ 

Mr Abuzaire, who is from Duddeston, Birmingham, is ‘still suffering’ over the loss of his daughter.  He split with Gordon in 2006.

‘She was manipulated and she made mistakes,’ he said. ‘He [Abuzaire] took advantage of the situation after we split but no one thought she would allow it to happen.’

He added: ‘They should have been convicted of murder. She was smart and caring for her children until she met Abuhamza. 

‘They got off lightly, it was like the courts made excuses for them. Abuhamza claimed he had been abused by his own parents, if that was the case you wouldn’t want that for other children, he was old enough to know right and wrong.

‘They had no excuses, the law is clear, the book should have been thrown at them.’  

Mr Abuzaire said: ‘Khyra was a very bright child, bouncy and full of life, that’s the only memory I have of her, apart from when I had to identify her in the hospital/

‘Seeing her go from one to the other was heartbreaking.’

He explained how he couldn’t attend some of the hearings due to the horrific details being described.

‘I just couldn’t face it’, he said. ‘I didn’t know what my reaction would be.’

Following the sentencing, Mr Abuzaire successfully sued Birmingham Council for negligence.

A Serious Case Review into the tragedy found the children had been let down social workers, health staff, teachers and police.

The 180 page report, published by Birmingham’s Safeguarding Children’s Board, said: ‘Whilst a number of agencies and individuals sought to deliver effective services to the child… there were others who lost sight of the child and focused instead upon the rights of the adults, the adults’ behaviours and the potential impact for themselves as professionals.’

Mr Ishaq added: ‘The events that have followed Khyra’s death have kept me occupied up until now, it has been out of the media spotlight but it has been ongoing for eight years. 

‘Everyone thinks it ended after the court case but care proceedings continue after that, for the other five children.

‘What happened after that event has been hard to explain, it’s a constant reminder, the city council fail to understand that I am also a victim of this just like the children. I didn’t suffer like they did but I lost a daughter.

‘I saw the children occasionally after I split from Angela, I was out of the country when I received a text message to say that Khyra had died and the other children were in a bad way, I flew home and the police met me and told me everything.

‘I have no idea what came into their mind to make them do this, I can’t even begin to imagine, at the time I was focused on the court case.

‘I haven’t had time to contemplate after eight years of this, you need to sit down and reflect on what’s happened and I never got to do that.

‘I feel angry because of the influence Junaid had over Angela, he should have never been in the property, she would never have done that, no one knew he was living there, the children were too scared to say anything.

‘I saw the children seven days before Khyra’s death, they looked odd, but I hadn’t seen them for such a long time before that, I knew they had changed but I had never seen signs of malnutrition before.

‘They had no fat on their cheeks and they looked slim, I was frustrated that it was my lack of knowledge that meant I didn’t pick up the signs.

Mr Abuzaire says he is unable to visit Khyra’s grave. He is first trying to stop being angry.

‘My problem was the number of opportunities the council had to step in and they did nothing, they are incompetent of carrying out their duty.’