Khyra Ishaq’s father sues council over starvation death

The father of a girl who was starved to death after “missed opportunities” by children’s services to save her is suing Birmingham City Council.

Khyra Ishaq, seven, died in 2008 after being starved at home in Birmingham.

Her mother Angela Gordon, 35, was jailed for 15 years. Ex-partner Junaid Abuhamza, 31, was jailed indefinitely.

Anthony Collins Solicitors said it was representing Ishaq Abu-Zaire. The council said it would be inappropriate to comment.

Khyra died following months of starvation and cruelty at the hands of her mother and stepfather.

Tony Hall, a partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors in Birmingham, confirmed he was representing Khyra’s father.

He said: “I am investigating a claim against Birmingham City Council of negligence and breach of statutory duty.”

He explained that the compensation claim was “still in its early stages”.
‘More families could suffer’

A statement on the law firm’s website said: “The impact on the family both physically and psychologically has been immense.

“Birmingham City Council’s Social Services Department has recently been heavily criticised as to the quality of care provided generally.

“With the budgetary cuts pending, more individuals and families could suffer as a result.”
Khyra Ishaq Khyra lost 40% of her body weight

Last March Gordon was sentenced to 15 years and Abuhamza was jailed indefinitely for the public’s protection, with a minimum term of seven-and-a-half years, after they were convicted of manslaughter.

A serious case review published four months later concluded Khyra’s death could have been prevented and occurred after the authorities in the city “lost sight” of her.

Three social workers who were closely involved with the case were removed from frontline services and direct contact with children after Khyra’s death.

But Birmingham City Council refused to divulge any details about any disciplinary procedures taken against them.

Mr Hall said his client’s compensation bid was being funded by legal aid.

A Legal Services Commission spokesperson said: “Mr Abu-Zaire was only granted legal aid after he had passed a financial means test and when it was clear that his case had sufficient legal merit to be funded.”

A city council spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment while legal proceedings were continuing.