Desperate and thirsty, 7 year old Shanay Walker was captured on CCTV cameras asking a shopkeeper for something to drink just hours before she was found dead at her home. The footage shows her running barefoot into a corner shop the night before her frail bruised body was discovered at the home of her aunt and grandmother.
The child was subjected to months of violent punishment by her 'strict' churchgoing aunt and suffered a 'sustained, vicious and brutal beating' before she died, a jury heard.
Her aunt, Kay-Ann Morris, 24, and grandmother Juanila Smikle, 54, were today June 5th sentenced to eight years and four years in jail, respectively, after being found guilty of cruelty.
Morris was cleared of murder after the trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
In the 46-second security clip, Shanay is seen wandering down the aisles in her pyjamas before stopping to speak to the shopkeeper behind the counter shortly before 9pm on 30 July last year.
The following day, her body, covered with more than 50 injuries, was found in her bed at the family home in Bestwood, Nottingham.
Shanay suffered regular punishments at the hands of her aunt and grandmother, who were given care of the child after her mother was forced to give her up following depression, the court heard
The child's death is now the subject of a serious case review by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, who will look at whether any opportunities were missed to protect Shanay.
The court was told how Morris, a Seventh-day Adventist, shoved food in Shanay's mouth and would strike her on the hands with a hairbrush.
Between July 2012 and July 2014, Morris would punish her niece by dragging her by the hair and stuffing clothes in her mouth. On one occasion, she threw Shanay into a wall after she stole water.
She also forced Shanay to eat food she did not want as a punishment for stealing food, and told the child to run up and down the stairs repeatedly, it was heard.
The court was also told that her grandmother Smikle had cruelty 'in her DNA' and had inflicted similar evil punishments on her own eight children.
Smikle, 54, was found guilty of four counts of cruelty, and jailed for four years. Morris was found guilty of one charge of cruelty against Shanay and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Morris was also charged with murder but was cleared by the jury.
Source: UK Daily Mail