Unsolved Murders

Sunaria Hamid-Howells

Age: 5 months

Sex: female

Date: 31 Dec 2012

Place: Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff

Sunaria Hamid-Howells died from being shaken.

The Coroner said that she had been unlawfully killed and that one of her parents was responsible.

However, the Crown Prosecution Service said that there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

Sunaria Hamid-Howells had been taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital after her mother called 999 on 30 December 2012 ,saying that there was something wrong with Sunaria Hamid-Howells. Whilst she waited for paramedics to arrive she and a neighbour carried out chest compressions.

Their neighbour said that she had been alerted by the couple that something was wrong, saying that Sunaria Hamid-Howells's mother banged on her window, telling her to come quickly as there was something wrong with her baby and that when she did she found her partner, the father, screaming and almost wailing. She said that she then found Sunaria Hamid-Howells lying on her back on the settee. The neighbour said that Sunaria Hamid-Howells had her eyes closed and was breathing slowly. She said that she tapped the right-hand centre of Sunaria Hamid-Howells's chest until the paramedics arrived.

When doctors examined her, they found brown marks on her cheeks and bruising. A CT scan later showed that she had a fractured skull and was suffering from bleeding to the brain and she was taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where she died the next day, 31 December 2012.

When the doctors questioned the parents about Sunaria Hamid-Howells's injuries, they said that they were told that Sunaria Hamid-Howells had previously fallen but said that they found their explanations inadequate to account for the skull fracture and internal bleeding as well as the bruising to her cheeks and marks on her arms. It was also heard that the mother said that she had dropped Sunaria Hamid-Howells towards the end of November 2012 whilst they were on holiday at Bluestone National Park, in Pembrokeshire. She also said that Sunaria Hamid-Howells had fallen out of her baby rocker on Boxing Day and said that she had then taken her to their doctor on 27 December 2012 who had told her that she was okay.

A neonatal expert had said that it was unlikely that Sunaria Hamid-Howells had received her injuries from falling out of a rocker chair four days before she died as had been suggested.

It was said that, 'The severity of the head injury suggests an acute event', and another doctor said that Sunaria Hamid-Howells, 'was a very well and happy baby until things changed very suddenly on December 30'.

The Coroner concluded that, 'This person, I find, was the person who picked Sunaria up on 30 December in the living room, shook her and inflicted head trauma on her', and then went on to say, 'One individual did the unlawful act, it's not possible on the evidence to determine if this person was the mother or father, but it can only have been one of them'.

He added that Sunaria Hamid-Howells's injuries would have been instantaneously noticeable by the person that had inflicted them.

Sunaria Hamid-Howells's post-mortem stated that she would have recieved her injuries no more than 48 to 72 hours before she died. Sunaria Hamid-Howells was also found to have had a fractured leg. The cause of death was given as brain swelling and subdural haemorrhage.

At the inquest, the mother said that Sunaria Hamid-Howells had been absolutely fine before she had put her in her basket and said that she later heard her making a horrible, vile noise that fluctuated in pitch as though she was being shaken. The mother denied harming Sunaria Hamid-Howells saying, 'I wouldn't hurt my baby, I loved that little girl'.

However, the father said that the mother had told lies, saying that Sunaria Hamid-Howells had suffered a fit while he was feeding her with the bottle and said that she didn't make any strange noises. When asked if he had ever hurt, dropped, shaken or hit Sunaria Hamid-Howells, the father said, 'Of course not'.

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