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Sara Sharif found dead under blanket in bunk bed, court hears

 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Sara Sharif was found under a blanket in a bunk bed with her head up and her hands in front of her, a court has heard.

The girl’s father Urfan Sharif, stepmother Beinash Batool and uncle Faisal Malik are accused of the murder of the 10-year-old before her body was found at a property in Woking, Surrey on August 10.

They have also been charged with causing or allowing the death of a child.

The defendants left the UK for Pakistan alongside five children the day before her body was discovered and they returned to the UK on Wednesday.

The three were arrested on landing at Gatwick Airport and were later charged with her murder.

They appeared at Guildford Magistrates Court on Friday, where they were remanded into custody following a 20-minute hearing.

The defendants, from Hammond Road in Woking, spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and addresses and did not enter any pleas to the two charges.

Urfan Sharif had his head held down as the prosecution briefly outlined the case against the defendants.

Sharif was wearing a grey prison issue tracksuit, Malik wore a red t-shirt and blue jeans and Batool was dressed in black, and were each flanked by a dock officer.

Two of the defendants required an Urdu interpreter.

Prosecutor Amanda Burrows told the court police were alerted to the situation when they received a call from Pakistan, which lasted eight minutes and 34 seconds, at 2.47am on August 10.

The flight had been booked on August 8, the prosecution said.

Officers arrived at the property and found the 10-year-old lying under a blanket, the court heard.

When they pulled the blanket back they found Sara lying fully clothed in the middle of the bed with her head up and her hands were lying on her chest, the hearing was told.

Ambulance crews were called to the address, where they pronounced the child dead just after 4am.

She was identified using the DNA of her mother Olga Sharif, who lives in Somerset, and another relative, the court was told.

A post-mortem examination later found the youngster had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries” over a “sustained and extended” period of time.The court heard her cause of death remains to be established, but she had “healed fractures” and injuries that “clearly demonstrate” the girl was subjected to “multiple events of violence”,

She also died as a result of third-party involvement, the prosecution said.

Lawyers for the defendants indicated that they deny the charges and no application for bail was made.

No update was given on the condition of the five children who remain in Pakistan.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram remanded the defendants into custody before they appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.