A five-year-old girl tragically screamed “mummy don’t kill me” before her “stressed” mother strangled her to death.
Alijah Thomas was pronounced dead by emergency services on the afternoon of September 14 last year, after being strangled by her mother, Martina Madarova, 41.
The Slovakian national had put on cartoons for her daughter to watch, before carrying out the heinous act at their home in London.
She proceeded to strangle poor Alijah, before “tucking her in with a blanket” and calling the girl’s father, David Thomas, to notify him of his daughter’s death, My London reports.
The 41-year-old had been suffering with her mental health, turning to alcohol during lockdown and had been in a "dark place" the night before Alijah's tragic death.
She was concerned over her income, after her hours as a carer had been reduced and had become anxious after missing the deadline to enrol Alijah at school.
Along with concerns about her mother contracting Covid and being stuck in the flat all day, she had eventually turned to alcohol as a "coping mechanism".
On that fateful morning, Alijah’s father had left early for work and was notified a few hours later by a phone call from Madarova that their daughter was dead.
Due to his distance from the family home, he called his brother and a family friend who rushed to the scene. There, they found Alijah "tucked into a blanket as if to go to sleep" but she had no pulse and was "cold to the touch".
Emergency services were called at 12:56pm but Alijah was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. Alijah’s last moments were then revealed after Madarova told paramedics that her daughter had said: "Mummy, don't kill me."
She had responded: "I don’t want to kill you, I just want to help you, no baby you’re safe", to which Alijah had replied: "No mummy, you’re killing me."
Her plan had been to kill her daughter and then commit suicide. She was charged with her daughter’s murder and at a hearing on December 7 she pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
A moving impact statement from Alijah’s father, David Thomas, was read aloud to the court, in which he described the "devastating" impact her death has had on his family.
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Speaking of Madarova, he said his family held "no malice" towards her and said that she was the "best mum" who would never have intentionally hurt their daughter unless for her mental health.
He said: "She is the most innocent person you could meet. She sees the good in everyone and everything. I am very shocked by what has happened as this is just not her.”
Appearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, Madarova was sentenced to five years in prison. Judge Richard Marks QC ruled that she had "low responsibility" over Alijah’s death.
He noted that prior to the incident, Madarova had been an "exemplary mother" and that there was no evidence of her mistreating Alijah at any point before the incident.
However, he did tell the defendant that she had ignored multiple warnings from friends and family to seek medical advice and had failed to do so, turning to alcohol instead. He acknowledged her "genuine remorse" and told her: "You have to live with what you did for the rest of your life."
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