A man has received a minimum prison term of 22 years for the appalling murder of his five-year-old stepdaughter, described as “brutal, merciless, and outrageous.” The tragic incident occurred in December 2019 at their residence in Fernagh Drive, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. Abdul Wahab, 35, was sentenced by Mr. Justice O’Hara at Belfast Crown Court, who found him guilty of repeatedly assaulting and beating Nadia Zofia Kalinowska over an extended period. The young girl had endured more than 70 injuries, including a fractured skull, which were inflicted by Wahab.
In a parallel ruling, Nadia’s mother, Aleksandra Wahab, 29, was sentenced to 11 years in prison, with half to be served in custody. She was held responsible for allowing the death of a child and permitting a child to endure severe physical harm. Initially charged with murder, both Abdul and Aleksandra Wahab pleaded guilty to their crimes, later claiming Nadia’s death was accidental during their initial arrests.
The court heard that an ambulance was summoned to the Wahab residence on December 15, 2019, where Nadia was found unconscious. She was subsequently pronounced dead at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. Mr. Justice O’Hara condemned the extensive injuries suffered by Nadia, describing them as a “horrific collection.”
These injuries comprised more than 70 surface wounds, eight rib fractures, a fractured collarbone, fractures of the pelvis, a fractured skull, liver and bowel lacerations, as well as a perforated bowel. The judge attributed these injuries to “heavy blunt impacts” that would have undoubtedly caused immense pain and distress, reported Daily Mail.
Notably, experts brought forward by the prosecution affirmed that Nadia had been subjected to repeated assaults, asserting that any attentive parent would have recognized the evident pain and distress inflicted upon her. In a surprising turn of events, Mr. Wahab attempted to retract his guilty plea, which the judge characterized as both distressing and futile, considering the overwhelming evidence against him.
Mr. Justice O’Hara expressed his revulsion at the brutality exhibited by Mr Wahab towards Nadia, highlighting the stark contrast with their then two-year-old son, who remained unharmed. He unequivocally dismissed the notion that Nadia’s injuries were accidental, attributing them solely to sustained cruelty that his wife was aware of and permitted to continue.
While Mr. Wahab received an automatic life sentence, he was informed that he would not be eligible for parole consideration until serving a minimum of 22 years. Concurrently, he was given additional sentences for the two charges of grievous bodily harm with intent. Turning to Mrs. Wahab, the judge emphatically rejected her claim of ignorance regarding the repeated attacks and beatings suffered by Nadia, asserting that she had failed in her duty to protect the child. Mrs Wahab was handed an 11-year prison sentence, with half to be served in custody.
Ciaran McQuillan, Assistant Director of the Public Prosecution Service, expressed the deeply distressing nature of the case, highlighting the defendants’ persistent falsehoods regarding the accidental nature of Nadia’s injuries. The sheer number and severity of the injuries demonstrated the falsity of their claims. McQuillan characterized the murder as sickening and brutal, particularly given the young age of the victim.