Family going through "unimaginable pain and suffering" after death of one-year-old Rehma Sabir

Croydon Guardian: Sameer Sabir from Thornton Heath and his wife are being comforted by family Sameer Sabir from Thornton Heath and his wife are being comforted by family

The devastated parents of a baby who died after allegedly being beaten by her nanny have said they are going through "unimaginable pain and suffering".

Rehma Sabir died in hospital in America two days after her first birthday, and is said to have suffered severe brain damage caused by head injuries while in the care of her nanny.

Her British born father, Sameer Sabir from Thornton Heath, and his wife Nada Siddiqui have been comforted by relatives since Reema's death in hospital on January 16.

Mr Sabir's parents Seema and Naveed were in the US at the time of the tragedy after flying from their Thornton Heath home to Boston, Massachusetts, to celebrate their granddaughter's birthday.

Mr Sabir, a UCL graduate who attended Whitgift School, moved to the US from Croydon four years ago.

He is understood to have visited London just weeks before the death of his baby, when attending the wedding of a family friend.

Neighbours of his parents say Rehma was "normal and healthy" when they saw her in November.

Sameena Chaudhary, 59, who is a friend of the Sabir family and lives on their street in Thornton Heath, said: "Rehma seemed a normal, healthy baby. Sameer and his wife are wonderful parents.

"They are a very close family and Seema and Naveed often travel to Boston to see them, they were proud grandparents. We are all praying for Rehma- they are all in shock, deeply.

"We can't speak to them because they are so upset. We can't think how it happened, it is shocking news."

It is understood Mr Sabir's parents were due back in London last Wednesday, but delayed their return to comfort the couple.

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said it was very sad news for the family.

Irish nanny Aisling McCarthy Brady, who had looked after Rehma for six months, has been charged with assault and battery.

The 34-year-old denied all charges when she appeared in court last week.

Police were called to Mr Sabir’s home just before 5pm on January 14, after Ms McCarthy Brady who is from Lavey, in the Irish Republic, called emergency services.

Rehma was found unconscious and was taken to hospital, where she was treated for bleeding to her brain and eyes. She died of her injuries two days later.

A neighbour reported hearing screaming from the house for an hour and a half before it fell silent. Investigators have revealed a blood-stained pillow, blanket and baby wipes were found in the Rehma's bedroom.

US prosecutors spoke of the "pain and sorrow" the family were enduring.

A statement by the Middlesex district attorney said: "The family of this child is going through unimaginable pain and suffering.

"Very few can fully understand the sorrow and pain that they are enduring, and we all need to allow them the appropriate time and support they require to cope with this tragedy."

It has emerged Ms McCarthy Brady was allegedly in the US illegally and has a history of violence.

In 2005 her boyfriend filed a restraining order against her for attacking him and two years later she was accused of attacking a woman.

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