Nusayba Umar: Killer Syed Haider sentenced to life for murdering girlfriend’s 16-month-old toddler

Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb jailed Haider for life, saying: “This was not an accident. This was a gross breach of trust by an adult against a defenceless baby.”

A “violent and controlling boyfriend” who hit his girlfriend’s 16-month-old daughter causing fatal brain injuries has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years behind bars.

Haider, who worked as an unlicensed dog breeder, was found guilty of murder and child cruelty at the Old Bailey on Monday, March 28.

Nusayba Umar died from “severe and life-threatening” head injuries in September 2019.

He met Nusayba’s mother, Asiyah Amazir, just five weeks earlier on a dating app, and had a history of violence against ex-girlfriends and their children, the court heard.

He has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years for Nusayba’s murder, minus the time he has spent so far on remand, by Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb at the Old Bailey today (Wednesday, March 30).

The judge also imposed an 18-month concurrent sentence for child cruelty.

Prosecuting, Jocelyn Ledward, told the court Nusayba’s “vulnerabilities” at the time of her death due to her age meant she was “wholly defenceless”.

Haider had “some responsibility for Nusayba” and had “abused a position of trust”, she said.

Syed Haider. Credit: Met Police

She told the court: “He was not a parent but a carer who was entrusted to look after her.”

Ms Ledward also highlighted the “abusive relationship he developed towards her” prior to her death and the “delay” in medical care due to him “failing to disclose what he had done”.

But she told the court Haider’s previous convictions were “old and relatively minor” and involved a public order offence and two convictions for harassment prior to 2011.

Defence lawyer, Martin Rutherford QC, told the court there were “mitigating factors the court should take into account”.

He said: “This is not a case of intent to kill. [There is] a lack of prior motivation.”

On his client’s previous convictions, Mr Rutherford said: “I accept the bad character evidence in this case. I hope it’s proper to point out also that the bulk of that relates to events between 2005 and 2010.”

He said the court had heard “nothing about alleged bad behaviour” between then and the events surrounding the trial.

“He is 39 years of age and is much loved by his family, many of whom are in court today,” he added.

Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb imposed the sentence in Haider’s absence, which she said she was confident was voluntary.

She said: “This was not an accident. This was a gross breach of trust by an adult against a defenceless baby.

“It is clear to me that Kamran Haider wanted Ms Amazir’s assistance with his dog breeding business and her child got in the way.

“He resented the attention Nusayba needed from her mother.”

Of the assault by Haider on Nusayba, she said when Ms Amazir called 999 her “distress was unmistakable”.

When the paramedics arrived, Nusayba was “just short of coma” and was rushed to hospital, where she was found to have suffered a “severe life-threatening brain injury”.

Ms Justice Cheema-Grubb said: “Extensive medical intervention couldn’t stop her condition deteriorating as the hours passed.”

Her life support system was switched off on September 17, 2019.

The judge said: “Her death was most likely to have been caused by injuries sustained by violent shaking so that her head was thrown backwards and forwards, and there was evidence of impact too.

“Kamran Haider didn’t tell Ms Amazir what he had done. If she might have obtained medical help earlier, it is unlikely the outcome would have been different.

“Both her parents express ongoing sorrow. Her mother has sustained long-term psychological harm. Her father expresses a sense of helplessness at having failed to protect her.

“It’s clear to me that the death of Nusayba has impacted many people and will continue to do so.

“Nothing the court can do can absolve their suffering.”

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Amazir said: “I am a shadow of the former confident, bubbly and trusting young woman I was. I struggle with trusting people, I am withdrawn and I have become very solitary.”

And Nusayba’s father Muhammed Umar said: “I remember seeing her lying there , I remember crying and being in an awful state.

“I struggled before her death with the fact that my child was living with a man I had never met.”

“I know if I was aware of what was happening I would have protected her.

He continued: “I was robbed of my daughter’s life. I wanted to watch my daughter grow into a woman and see what she would become.

“This one event ripped my life apart and I will never recover.

“Time passing has gone no way to make me feel better. Whenever I go to bed at night, I wonder what I could have done differently to avoid this. This is what causes most of the pain.

“When he killed my child he also destroyed my life.”

At a previous hearing, a statement from Ms Amazir has said: “Nusayba was subjected to the most horrible experiences at the hands of this man towards the end of her life. I will never forget the events that led to her death for as long as I live.

“I vividly remember the things she suffered and that noise she made on the last day of her life will haunt me forever.

“There are also the other more obvious effects of this awful crime committed against my daughter.

“Things like I will never get to see her grow up, hear her first full sentence, see her first day at school, her first tooth loss, her first proper tantrum and all of the other beautiful milestones that a mother witnesses throughout her children’s lives.

“I will never get to hold her again or kiss her tiny hands, tickle her, put her in a pretty dress or buy her a toy that I know she wants, all of the most benign and underrated things that most take for granted as parents – these have been taken from me and cannot be given back.

“Something as simple as changing her nappy or doing her laundry is now a heart breaking memory for me and these are just some of the life-long impacts of this crime that I’m able to verbalise.”

DCI Larry Smith, who led the investigation, said: “Haider is a controlling and violent man who is prone to bouts of extreme aggression and violence. Nusayba bore the brunt of that violence on the day she was entrusted in his care and she suffered an attack that would lead to the end of her life.

“What happened on 13 September has never been fully established. But it is beyond doubt that the injuries inflicted on her could not have been accidental and were caused by Haider.

“Nusayba’s mother and family will grieve for many, many years as a result of this harrowing case. We will continue to support her however we can.

“I’d like to praise my officers who have worked so hard to present the case against Haider which has led to his conviction. It is right that he now faces decades behind bars where he can reflect on the consequences of his deplorable actions.”

A spokesperson for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said: “Nusayba’s mother entrusted Haider to care for her daughter and protect her from harm, instead he treated the young child cruelly and subjected her to such violence she suffered fatal injuries.

“This is a tragic case, and it underlines the vulnerability of young children who are entirely dependent on those caring for them for their safety and wellbeing.

“Anyone who has concerns about a child should speak up. The NSPCC’s confidential helpline is available seven days a week on 0808 8005000 or by emailing [email protected].

“If a child is in immediate danger, please call 999.”