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'Murder mum' says lover took advantage of her belief in black magic

PUBLISHED: 15:15 09 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:24 09 February 2015

Police outside the flat in Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, where Ayesha Ali's body was found. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Police outside the flat in Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, where Ayesha Ali's body was found. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

A mum accused of murdering her daughter has told jurors that her neighbour took advantage of her belief in evil spirits to “engineer” their relationship through made-up characters on Facebook.

Polly Chowdhury, 35, says she never once doubted that the network of fictional characters created by Kiki Muddar were real.

These included “Jimmy”, who encouraged Chowdhury to send explicit sexual photographs of herself, and Muslim spirit guide “Skyman”, who poisoned her mind against her daughter.

Giving evidence in her defence, Chowdhury told the Old Bailey that she believed her dead grandfather was the spirit guide communicating with her via text.

The Old Bailey heard she was brought up a Muslim and believed in “possession by spirits” and “black magic”. She confided these ideas to Muddar, along with her feelings of “guilt” and “low self esteem” stemming from her teenage years, which included an abortion and an abusive arranged marriage.

Chowdhury told jurors: “I believe now that the way Kiki Muddar was sending these messages, she knew she was going to get a reaction from me.

“Now I can see that things were engineered in such a way she knew exactly how my responses would be, that I would do anything to make things better.”

She told the court she was left “terrified” after receiving a message threatening to tell her father all the things she had done in her life.

Chowdhury and Muddar, 43, are jointly accused of murdering Ayesha Ali, eight, who was found dead in her bedroom in August 2013 having suffered numerous injuries.

After she separated from her husband in December 2012, Chowdhury said she planned to find a three-bedroom flat but Skyman told her to get a two-bedroom place instead.

Asked by her lawyer Ali Bajwa QC why she thought that was now, she said: “So that she [Muddar] could be in my room.”

Muddar, of Green Lane, Ilford, and Chowdhury, of Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, deny murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child between March 1 and August 29, 2013.

The trial continues.

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