Father who killed 13-week old baby blamed autistic child, court hears

Fiona Simpson
Found guilty: Mohammed Miah and Rebeka Nazmin have been convicted over the death of their baby son: Met Police

A father has been found guilty of murdering his deformed baby after both parents attempted to shift the blame for his death on to a young autistic child.

Over 13 weeks of his life, little Rifat Mohammed was subjected to "systematic" abuse while in the care of his parents, before succumbing to fatal brain injuries in July last year.

The prosecution argued that Rebeka Nazmin and Mohammed Miah, of Poplar, east London, had tried to deflect suspicion onto another child in the house, who had been diagnosed with behavioural problems in the past, the Old Bailey heard.

The jury had heard how Nazmin called 999 for an ambulance to come to the family home in St Leonard's Road on the morning of July 4 last year.

Rifat was found apparently lifeless on the floor near where his "significantly overweight" father was lying on the bed.

He was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he died from brain injuries the following day.

The infant, who wore a baby grow with the words "I love my mummy", had been either severely shaken or hit against a hard surface, the court was told.

An examination of his body revealed 38 rib fractures, eight fractures to his legs and a broken spine from being squeezed and pulled.

The baby was also hit with the chord of a mobile phone charger and burned on a radiator, the jury heard.

Found guilty: The pair were convicted at the Old Bailey (Google Maps)

Both parents tried to avoid responsibility by placing the blame for Rifat's death on another child in the house, prosecutor Ed Brown QC has said.

The court was told the child, who is on the autistic spectrum, had behavioural problems at his former primary school.

But since receiving specialist help in class, he had turned into a "charming" and "delightful" child in the months before Rifat's death.

In police interview, Miah said the same child had held Rifat "at arm's length and had brought him back and forth", the court heard.

Under cross-examination by video link, the primary-school age child, who cannot be identified, told jurors: "I see Rifat in the corner, red and hot, then doing something, then he just lies there doing nothing. He didn't even wake up.

"I felt his head if he had temperature. I told (Nazmin) about it and she said I should shake him or put water on him. If he wakes, he's fine. If not, I will have to call the ambulance."

Following Rifat's death, Nazmin also said her husband had a problem with their baby's deformed hand and ear, saying he might have abused him because of it.

She was heard to say: "He killed my baby. Tell his dad he has died, that's what he wants."

A jury found Miah, 37, guilty of murder.

Nazmin, 32, was cleared of murder but found guilty of causing or allowing the death of her baby and causing him to suffer.

The couple will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Detective Inspector Ken Hughes of the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command said: "We may never know why a mother and father inflicted such terrible injuries on their own small baby

“This baby should have been protected and loved; instead he lived with hurt, indifference and brutality.”

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