London - A British mother killed her eight-year-old daughter after becoming “bewitched” by her sadistic lesbian lover.
Polly Chowdhury, 35, was caught up in a web of fantasy spun by her obsessive neighbour whose only goal was to secure a place in her bed.
The former law firm secretary fell into the thrall of a cast of 15 characters created by Kiki Muddar. Despite only existing on Facebook and via text message, they persuaded her to kick out her husband and start a sexual relationship with the 43-year-old.
Muddar then convinced Chowdhury that her daughter Ayesha was evil, triggering an almost unimaginable series of events that ended in her death.
On Wednesday night Chowdhury and Muddar – who blame each other for the killing – faced long jail sentences after an Old Bailey jury convicted them of manslaughter.
But those behind the investigation are still struggling to understand how an ordinary mother could turn on her own child with such barbarity.
One source said: “Their actions were utterly inhuman. What happened in that house defies belief. It was as if she was bewitched.”
Chowdhury was described by her charity worker husband as the “perfect mother” to their bright “chatterbox” daughter Ayesha.
But when Muddar moved in next door to their Romford home in 2007, she became embroiled in a fantasy world of lies and sexual intrigue.
The former special school volunteer used alter egos including men, angels and evil spirits to control and seduce her neighbour via more than 40 000 messages. They included a Muslim spirit called Skyman and a paranormal lover called “Jimmy”.
Muddar was also obsessed with vampires and Ayesha’s mother agreed to bite her daughter’s back as part of the depraved attacks that led to her death in Chadwell Heath, Essex, in August 2013.
Ayesha, who weighed just three-and-a-half stone, was found dead in her bedroom with more than 50 injuries, including a fatal head wound, on August 29, 2013. Muddar had dialled 999 but when the operator asked what happened she replied: “She was a naughty child and mum thought she was possessed by the devil.”
Detectives discovered Ayesha’s final days were spent in unbearable torment as a campaign of abuse focused on her supposed “bad behaviour”. The little girl was made to stand in cold baths, beaten, bitten and force fed until she was sick.
In the 48-hours before her death, which took place in the school summer holidays, she suffered 56 injuries, including bruising all over her body and carpet burns.
Handwritten diary notes by Ayesha were found in which she described her efforts to “be good” in the face of the abuse. In one she wrote: “I don’t like hurting other people’s feelings! I don’t know how I make myself do these things! I hate getting punishments so I am going to make sure I change.”
Detectives found that on the night before her death, Muddar mercilessly beat Ayesha with a shower head. Chowdhury then smothered her in an attempt to “put her out of her misery”. They found that over the months before the killing Muddar spun an extraordinary web of deception and imaginary personalities to ensnare her lover.
One of the characters was a man, Jimmy Choudhry, with whom Chowdhury fell in love, despite never meeting him.
Muddar even convinced Chowdhury she could have a sexual relationship with her “soul mate” via her, comparing herself to Whoopi Goldberg in the film Ghost. In the romantic movie Goldberg is “possessed” by murdered Patrick Swayze as he continues his relationship with his lover Demi Moore through her body.
The characters first persuaded Chowdhury that her husband Afsar Ali was cheating on her and should be kicked out.
Venomous texts were later recovered, including Muddar telling Chowdhury “you have no right to ever love or like your evil daughter” and “your daughter will pay”.
Giving evidence, Mr Ali described his wife as “kind-hearted to a fault”. Describing their life after Muddar appeared, he added: “It was like she was possessed.”
Speaking after the case, Mr Ali, 35, who only learned the full horror of his daughter’s suffering during the trial, said his life had been destroyed.
GIRL’S DIARIES OF TORMENT
Little Ayesha kept diaries of how she desperately struggled to please her cruel mother and her obsessive lover.
She even compiled a “naughty list” on one sheet of paper which showed how she was being ruthlessly bullied. It documented “good” things, such as finishing her jam sandwiches and “being quick in the bathroom”, against the “bad” - including “whingeing”, “telling lies”, “pulling faces”, and “not putting my shoes in the right place”.
A second note was also found in which Ayesha wrote “I will change” so that she could escape further “punishments”. She talked of “letting my family and Kiki down”.
Alongside a picture of a crying face, the little girl wrote that her mother “loves me but does not like me! I am crying right now!”
“I have learnt while I am sitting here that I have to change!” she wrote after being confined to her bedroom one weekend. “Being thought bad, naughty and mean it’s getting to be very upsetting. I don’t like hurting other people’s feelings…I hate getting punishments so I’m gonna make sure I change.”