Safeguarding review launched after death of Sara Sharif

Posted: 6th October 2023

Review will examine whether more could have been done to prevent death of 10-year-old, with relatives accused of her murder.

A safeguarding review has been announced into the case of Sara Sharif and whether more could have been done to prevent the 10-year-old’s death.

Police found Sara dead under a blanket in her bunk bed at her home near Woking on 10 August.

Her father, Urfan Sharif, 41, her stepmother, Beinash Batool, 29, and her uncle Faisal Malik, 28, have been accused of her murder. They are due to stand trial in September next year.

The review of Sara’s case was announced by Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership (SSCP) and will examine all agencies which could have played a role in protecting her, including police, health, social care and education.

The SSCP’s independent chairman, Derek Benson, said: “On behalf of the SSCP, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to anyone who knew and cared about Sara Sharif.

“Following Sara’s tragic death in Woking, I can confirm that a local child safeguarding practice review will be undertaken. This review will be independently led by the SSCP and is a statutory process that will bring together partners including the police, health, social care and education to review the practice of all agencies involved with the family and identify any learning.

“This process is likely to take some time, and findings may not be shared by the SSCP until the partnership is assured that doing so will not prejudice any future legal proceedings,” said Benson.

A plea hearing for the three relatives accused of her murder will take place at the Old Bailey on 1 December.

The three defendants left the UK for Pakistan on 9 August with five children, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. Police discovered Sara’s body the next day after responding to a call from Pakistan, which lasted eight minutes and 34 seconds, at 2.47am.

The prosecutor Giles Bedloe told the Old Bailey at an initial hearing that Sara’s body had “a constellation of healed and healing injuries”. A postmortem confirmed a broken collarbone, multiple rib fractures and a brain haemorrhage but no cause of death has yet been established.

The three defendants were arrested on arrival at Gatwick airport on 13 September after flying back from Pakistan. They were all remanded into custody until their plea hearing.

Surrey police continue to investigate the case and recently released images of Sara dressed in a hijab which they believe she would have worn in the weeks before her death.

Source: Safeguarding review launched after death of Sara Sharif | UK news | The Guardian

Categories: News