The ex-husband of a woman accused of murdering their eight-year-old daughter while under the spell of her lesbian lover choked back tears as he told a UK court how his wife had become “possessed”.
Afsar Ali said he enjoyed a happy marriage with Polly Chowdhury before their next-door neighbour Kiki Muddar spun a fake cancer story to engineer her way into their home – and evict him from the marital bed.
Chowdhury (aged 35) and Muddar (aged 43) are on trial at the Old Bailey accused of murdering Mr Ali’s daughter Ayesha, at the family house in Chadwell Heath, Essex, in August 2013.
The Old Bailey has heard how Muddar formed a deep hatred for the child as she controlled and seduced Chowdhury by making up alter egos “Jimmy” and “Skyman” who only existed on Facebook and text.
Giving evidence for the prosecution, Mr Ali described how he uprooted his family and moved house to get away from his neighbour Muddar after she befriended his wife.
He told jurors: “She would often disagree and she would say: ’Let’s ask Kiki’s opinion’, what she thinks about certain things which it really in a way made me a bit angry and upset because it was my family.
“I wanted to get away from Kiki. I wanted my family to be away from her.”
They left the neighbourhood but Muddar came to stay in the autumn of 2012, sleeping in his bed with his wife – a situation which eventually led him to leave the family home within months.
On her arrival, he said: “I questioned as to what Kiki was doing at the property.
“I was told Kiki was on high doses of medication and the cancer was getting worse and she needed Polly’s help, that she needed our family’s help to support her.
“I was kicked out of my room because Kiki apparently wanted to sleep in the bedroom in bed. At first she said to me it would be easier. Kiki said it would be convenient for me to get up in the morning to get to work.”
Asked by prosecutor Richard Whittam QC how he felt about it, Mr Ali said: “I was devastated. I was really, really upset.
“One of the reasons I moved was to get away from this horrible lady and yet she is back in my property.
“ I was angry, upset. I felt I was let down by Polly. I just did not know what to do.
“I made it very clear to her that I wanted Kiki out but I agreed with Polly she could stay for a few days because I did not want Polly to be upset.
“She would have this barrier. Polly is the type to support people. She’s good - a good heart – and she wanted to support her but she wasn’t listening to me. She did not acknowledge what I wanted.”
Cross examining, Chowdhury’s lawyer Ali Bajwa QC asked: “Something change when Kiki came into your life?”
Mr Ali’s voice cracked as he replied: “Everything changed. Everything.”
Referring to his witness statement, Mr Bajwa said: “You say this – ’it was like she was possessed’. Is that true?” The witness agreed.
The court heard how the couple met when Mr Ali was serving a jail sentence at Feltham Young Offenders Institute around 2006 and Chowdhury was working in administration for a firm of solicitors.
They had both experienced unhappy arranged marriages and he helped her run away to a new life with him.
They had an Islamic marriage in 2001 but after Muddar moved in, he moved out on December 13, 2012 – Ayesha’s birthday.
Then on August 29 2013, Ayesha was found dead in her bedroom after suffering more than 50 injuries to her head, body and limbs, including carpet burns and a bite mark on her shoulder, jurors were told.
That morning, Muddar had dialled 999 and reported Chowdhury had tried to kill herself at the family home in Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, Essex, and that Ayesha was dead.
Muddar, of Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, and Chowdhury, of Broomfield Road, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Essex, deny murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child between March 1 and August 29, 2013.