Charges Brought in the Case of Sara Sharif’s Murder
Family Members Face Charges The father, stepmother, and uncle of 10-year-old Sara Sharif, who was found dead at her Woking home last month, have appeared in court following their arrest on suspicion of her murder.
Urfan Sharif, aged 41, along with his partner Beinash Batool, aged 29, and brother Faisal Malik, aged 28, have each been charged with murder, as well as causing or allowing the death of a child, as announced by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Arrest at Gatwick Airport The trio was arrested on September 13 at Gatwick Airport as they disembarked from a flight originating in Dubai. They had reportedly traveled in business class seats, each costing £4,000, paid for by family members. After spending a month in Pakistan, they decided to return to the UK and were arrested upon arrival.
Discovery of Sara’s Body Sara’s body was discovered at her Woking home on August 10, and post-mortem tests revealed that she had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries” over a “sustained and extended” period. During their court appearance, the defendants, who only confirmed their names, dates of birth, and addresses, did not enter any pleas.
Remand into Custody Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram remanded the defendants, who reside on Hammond Road in Woking, into custody. They are scheduled to appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
Flight to Pakistan and Return A day before the discovery of Sara’s body, the defendants flew to Pakistan with five children, aged between one and 13 years old. They had not been seen for a month. They returned to the UK on an Emirates A380 Airbus from Dubai, landing at London Gatwick just after 7.30 pm, where they were subsequently arrested by Surrey Police.
Luxurious Flight Details During their flight, the defendants sat in the plane’s upper deck, which featured fully-reclining seats and a touchscreen entertainment system with 6,500 channels of HD television. Additionally, the upper deck had an “onboard lounge” with a cocktail bar and a 55-inch television screen.
Ticket Booking Relative Safeer Malik, in his mid-30s, reportedly booked the tickets four days before the flight. He paid £4,000 for each one-way ticket to Pakistan in sterling after initially being asked for payment in Pakistani rupees.
Return to the UK to Cooperate with Police According to their lawyers, the defendants had chosen to return to the UK to provide their accounts to the police after initially hiding in Pakistan.
Impact on Sara’s Mother and School Sara’s mother, Olga Sharif, has been informed of these developments and is receiving support from specialist officers. She visited her daughter’s home to lay flowers in her memory and expressed that her life would never be the same.
Sara was a former pupil at St Mary’s Church of England primary school in Byfleet, where she was remembered for her beautiful smile and passion for her beliefs. The school’s headteacher, Jacquie Chambers, shared the community’s deep sadness and condolences for the tragic loss. Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman expressed condolences on behalf of Surrey Police and reaffirmed their commitment to a thorough investigation.