London: Two lesbian lovers, of Indian and Bangladeshi origin, were found guilty on Wednesday by a British court of manslaughter for brutally killing an eight-year-old girl.
Polly Chowdhury, 35, and Kiki Muddar, 43 - both British Asian - were on trial with the murder of Ayesha Ali, daughter of Chowdhury, who was found half-naked with more than 50 injuries in the women's home here in August 2013.
The girl had extensive bruising to her face, body and limbs, carpet burns suggesting she had been dragged and a bite mark on her right shoulder, the Old Bailey court here was told.
Muddar had created a cyber-fantasy world to manipulate Chowdhury through a series of fictitious friends on social media.
"She was rational in her judgements in having a disgust with Ayesha. She did not like Polly Chowdhury putting Ayesha above her interests. However immoral, abhorrent and illegal her judgement, it was rational... There is no question of either defendant having been mad," prosecutor Whittam told the court.
The couple created characters called Jimmy Chowdhury and Skyman to "facilitate a sexual relationship".
Muddar told Chowdhury that Ayesha was "evil" and bombarded her with more than 40,000 texts.
Among the thousands of texts exchanged between the couple were messages such as "You have no right to ever love or like your evil daughter", the jury was told.
Muddar befriended Chowdhury when they lived next door to each other and she got sympathy by pretending she had cancer. She even blamed Ayesha for making her fictional cancer worse.
Post-mortem examinations revealed Ayesha died as a result of damage to the head from a blow or blows.
"The manipulation and hatred directed towards Ayesha led to her being beaten and tormented for a number of months," said Chief Crown Prosecutor from the UK's Crown Prosecution Service Baljit Ubhey in a statement.
"The evidence showed that Ayesha was scared and intimidated in her own home. Chowdhury and Muddar have now been brought to justice for this despicable crime," the jury was told.
The jury cleared the pair of murder but found them guilty of manslaughter by a majority of 10-2 after deliberating for more than 31 hours, it said.
The pair are due to be sentenced on Friday.