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Sanam Navsarka
  - May 8, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial

I, the creator of this site, am at this time, a 50 year old, full grown adult who suffers from being afraid of the dark, not just a little, but a lot, I sleep with a the bathroom light on so that I will never wake up in the dark. As an adult, I am aware that there really isn't anything in the dark that can hurt me, or at least I believe I am.

Sanam Navsarka was a two year old child who was also afraid of the dark and most likely not aware of the fact that nothing in the dark could hurt her, yet her mother, Zahbeena Navsarka, and her boyfriend Subhan Anwar, didn't care about the fears of a small, innocent child, they repeated locked Sanam in the closet seen to the left, closed the door and left her in the dark any time they felt she was being "naughty".

On the day she would die, Sanam would be left alone at home, in terrible pain while Zahbeena and Subhan went to register for a doctor. Sanam was suffering with over 100 injuries, inflicted by the couple, though both would deny any wrong doing when the child died.

On May 8, 2008, Subhan called 999 claiming that there was  a child who had been left alone in the tub for about ten minutes and was found floating and was no longer breathing. I often wonder how people who beat a child, leaving visible injuries, bruises and evidence of abuse, think they are going to get away with it when it
will become GLARINGLY obvious what they have done after Doctors and other
medical personnel are given access to the child. Sanam was transferred to the hospital and attempts to save her life were unsuccessful. Police found bloodstains as well as tiny hand prints inside the cupboard after Sanam died, while they were doing their investigation.

Zahbeena Navsarka, who was 21 years old at the time and her boyfriend Subhan Anwar, who was also 21 at the time, were arrested and both claimed they had done nothing to harm the child though Zahbeena would eventually say that she didn't do anything to help Sanam while Subhan was abusing her. Witnesses who took the stand at trial would tell a story of witnessing some of the abuse.

Subhan admitted to police that he had, at times, put Sanam into the closet as punishment, adding that Zahbeena had also put her daughter into the closet when she wouldn't behave properly. When Zahbeena was told about the fact that daughter had over 100 injuries to her body, she had nothing to say. Police said that one of the injuries was a severe rash she had in her genital area to which Zahbeena admitted she and Subhan had applied shaving cream to the open, bleeding sores.
A Pathologist ruled the case of death as Fat Embolism Syndrome, which is when fatty deposits from broken bones enter into the bloodstream.

During the trial, Marriya Zaman, Zahbeena's sister testified that she saw the bruises on Sanam's face, forehead and legs in the weeks before her death and she knew that Subhan would put her in the dark closet as punishment when he felt she was being a naughty child. On a trip with the couple and Sanam, Marriya was witness to something else:


"She was crying and he put his hand over her mouth to stop her crying. She was crying again and
he didn't for longer, she couldn't breathe. I got her out of the trolley and told Zahbeena that he shouldn't
do that and she said, I know"

Marriya tried to report the abuse to Kirklees Council, telling them that the child had bruises and marks on her body and that she was being abused, this was four weeks before she died. As it turned out, social services were involved with other members of the family, but for whatever reason, they didn't step in to help Sanam and in fact, Marriya was told she would have to go higher up to report the abuse herself. I can find no report to say that she did, though I wish she had.

In court, Prosecutor Julian Goose QC said:

"Sanam had been in a great deal of pain and distress over a long period of time, leading up
to her death. By the time that the 999 call was made on May 8, Sanam had stopped walking,
she had difficulty breathing and she had two fractured legs and both of her arms had been
fractured"

Though Subhan denied hurting Sanam and Zahbeena had admitted to an alternate charge of failing to protect her daughter, however, the Prosecutor said that they each had their part in her death:

"Whether it was one, or the other, who actually inflicted the injuries, by doing nothing to help her
or save her over the four week period up to her death amounted to encouragement and support
for all the violence that took place. They were, we say, both in it together"
Prosecutor Julian Goose QC

In court, video was shown of Sanam on April 25, 2008. In the video Sanam appeared to be a cute, normal, happy little child with her hair neatly done up in pigtails. Sadly, a second video was playing from a later date in May and it showed
Sanam having what looked to be a seizure and rather than helping her, Subhan was filming her on his cell phone:

"Mr. Anwar used the mobile telephone to film Sanam as she was in clear and obvious distress"
Prosecutor Julian Goose QC

This is a still shot from that video



In his closing statement, Julian Goose had this to say:

"Sanam died as a result of really serious injuries, deliberately inflicted upon her, over a period of up
to four weeks before her death. It was not over a short period of time, it was not unexpected or
unpredictable. The defendants either inflicted that violence upon her together or one encouraged the
other, standing by and doing nothing over all those weeks whilst she was being repeatedly assaulted
and severely injured. The conduct of the defendants, together, when they saw her deteriorate was from
a normal, happy child to one in severe pain, unable to walk and suffering severe fits"

One witness at the trial was a friend of Zahbeena's, Shereen Yocoobali and she told the court that Zahbeena was a loving, caring and sweet person who did not have in in her heard to hurt Sanam. Shereen said that she had two children of her own and would trust Zahbeena and had at one point, trusted her with them. Shereen testified that she and Zahbeena had been really close until  she met Subhan who began to take over her life. Shereen also testified that she had heard Subhan threaten Sanam when he thought she was being naughty, though she said Zahbeena was not the same way:

"If Sanam was being naughty, she wouldn't tell her off, she'd be really sweet and say, no don't do that,
they'd have a giggle together. She wouldn't ever hit her, she hasn't got it in her to do that. I saw a change
in her when that guy came along. She was quite distant afterwards"

Shereen testified that about two months before she died, Sanam had been running in the hallway and trying to get into Shereen's bedroom while Subhan was on the phone:

"He was on my phone to the Job Center about something and Zahbeena said, Come here, but
Sanam was happily running about. He then said to her, I'll lock you up in the closet, stop it. She
Stopped in fear and I can smell fear when I see it and I saw her scared and she ran quickly to
her mum. I asked Zahbeena about the cupboard and she said, Oh he locks her in the cupboard
when we're at home. I said, why do you let him do that? And she said it was when Sanam was
being naughty"

Shereen went on to say that she and Zahbeena had been friends since they were teenagers and they had become very close when they lived across from each other after Zahbeena ran away from home after becoming pregnant. Zahbeena had changed her last name from Zaman to Navsarka believing that it was the surname of the man who was the father of her baby. Shereen had helped to deliver Sanam and was the first to hold her after she was born. Shereen said that Zahbeena met Subhan in March of 2008 at a mobile phone store and that only a few weeks later, he had moved in with her and Sanam. Subhan was married at that time and his wife was pregnant, he didn't tell Zahbeena any of that until much later.

Another witness was a neighbor, Rosie McGlade, testified that the couple often went out with friends, leaving Sanam alone even when friends would scold them for it. Rosie said that she had seen bruises and scratches on Sanam and had done CPR on the child on the night she died. Rosie told the court that Sanam seemed to be afraid of Subhan and that he locked her in the closet and called her dirty names. Rosie said she called Subhan "Subbi" and she had partied with the couple after his birthday:

"We had drinks with them the day after Subbi had his birthday. We started with a little drink at their
house and then we went round to ours. They left and put Sanam to bed and they came back round to
carry on the party"

A woman named Lisa had become concerned when they found out that they had left Sanam alone and told them to go home. Rosie said they returned to their home and then brought Sanam back to the party. On the night Sanam died, Rosie said she was Zahbeena take her naked body outside and lay it on the concrete in the garden and begin to scream at her to wake the f**k up. Rosie said if it had been her child, she would have been holding her and not wanting to let go and that Zahbeena didn't seem very concerned:

"I wouldn't say she was desperate. If I was that desperate I would be holding my child close
to me and trying to bring her back to life. She could have helped her daughter more than she
did. She seemed normal to me"

Rosie also testified that at one point she had found a scabby, two in scrape on Sanam's groin when she was changing her diaper just weeks before she died and that on the day she died, she noticed a large bruise on her face that went fro her cheek to her jaw.

Judge Peter Thornton QC said:

"It is almost unbelievable the pain and anguish she must have suffered, not just once or twice, but
repeatedly and persistently over weeks at  your cruel and selfish hands"

Subhan Anwar was sentenced to life in prison with the stipulation that he serve at least 23 years before being considered for parole. Zahbeena was sentenced to only nine years in prison since she was found to have not murdered her daughter, but was found guilty of manslaughter.

In February of 2013, Subhan was found dead while in prison:

"An incident at HMP Long Lartin on Thursday, 14 February resulted in the death of prisoner
Subhan Anwar. Two prisoners are now in police custody and the matter is being investigated
by police"
Prison Spokesperson

Once again, the agencies responsible for taking care of children FAILED. A review by the Kirklees Safeguarding Children Board OF COURSE said that the death of Sanam was caused by her mother and her mothers boyfriend, in the the review it was noted that there had been "significant departures" from good practice by the staff:

"Most notable of these was the failure by individual professionals to report appropriately,
concerns about the child's welfare. If those concerns had been reported, it is likely that protective
measures would have been initiated that may have changed the eventual outcome"

YA THINK!?! Two staff members were "disciplined" and Allison O'Sullivan, the director made sure to issue an apology
for what happened:

"An opportunity to make child protection inquiries was missed. This should not have happened
and I would like to apologize for this lapse in our usual standard of professional practice"

Judyth Kenworthy, who is a former family placement officer with the Kirklees Counsel, though she admitted that she had never worked with children before, was accused of "misconduct". At  hearing she simply said:

"I made a mistake. I was just trying to get somewhere else, to go to an important meeting and it
was just one of those situations where it took over and I just didn't register as being vitally important
and that was a mistake I made"

Are you KIDDING me? A MISTAKE? A mistake is when I spell a word wrong, or get a name wrong, or forget to mail a bill, NOT when a child dies, there are NO mistakes when children die, only IDIOTS who can't do their jobs correctly. YOU should be charged with something related to the death of this child. YOU were supposed to help protect her and you FAILED her and calling it a mistake is an insult to her memory. I am here asking WHY was a woman who had never worked with children before, put into the position of protecting them? Judyth was suspended for two years, Sanam will remain dead, forever!


I wonder if these people who issue these apologies ever stop think how ridiculous they sound and how no matter how much they try to cover their own butts, a child is dead, in fact, MANY children die because of the failure of the system, over and over. Stop TALKING about fixing things and start FIXING them already!

This page was created on May 22, 2104
Death occurred in England

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