Sara Sharif’s father will face trial for her murder next year after a court heard the 10-year-old suffered a “constellation” of injuries culminating in her death.
Urfan Sharif allegedly fled the UK to Pakistan with Sara’s stepmother Beinash Batool and his brother Faisal Malik the day before her body was found in Woking, Surrey, on 10 August.
They are alleged to have travelled with five children who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Sharif, 41, Batool, 29, and Malik, 28, appeared at the Old Bailey in London today following their return from Pakistan on Wednesday 13 September.
They were arrested at Gatwick Airport.
All three are charged with murdering Sara and causing or allowing the death of a child.
A six-week trial at the Old Bailey was provisionally set to start on 2 September 2024.
Judge Mark Lucraft KC, the Recorder of London, said a plea hearing will take place on 1 December this year.
Surrey Police found Sara’s body after receiving a call from Pakistan which lasted eight minutes and 34 seconds at 2.47am on 10 August, the court heard.
The defendants’ flight to Pakistan had been booked two days earlier on 8 August, the court was told.
Officers arrived at the family home and found the young girl lying face up and fully clothed under a blanket in a bunk bed in an upstairs room.
She was identified using the DNA of her mother, Olga Sharif, who lives in Somerset, and another relative.
Prosecutor Giles Bedloe told the court that Sara was found to have “a constellation of healed and healing injuries”.
They allegedly included a healed fracture to her collar bone, a healed fracture to the hyoid bone in her neck, multiple rib fractures, bruising to her torso and limbs, and a brain haemorrhage.
Mr Bedloe alleged: “It follows Sara had been subjected to multiple events of violence over a sustained period of time that must have culminated in her death.”
He added: “There is quite a significant amount of post-mortem work ongoing and that will continue.”
Sharif, Batool and Malik appeared at the Old Bailey by video-link from Belmarsh high-security jail in south London and Bronzefield women’s prison in Surrey today.
They spoke only to confirm their identities and dates of birth before a timetable was set for their case.
Judge Lucraft said a decision will be made later on whether the trial should be heard by a High Court judge.
The defendants were all remanded into custody until their next hearing.