Dead girl Shanay Walker called 'ugly as a pig' in recordings

  • Published
Media caption,
Recordings made by Shanay's aunt were played to the inquest

A girl who died after being treated cruelly by her aunt and grandmother was chastised and called "ugly as a pig" in a recording made by the aunt.

This recording and others have been played at an inquest into the death of seven-year-old Shanay Walker.

Police found them on her paternal aunt's mobile phone.

The aunt, Kay-Ann Morris, has been cleared of murder but she and Shanay's grandmother Juanila Smikle have both been jailed for child cruelty.

In the recordings, Morris can be heard shouting and swearing at Shanay and telling her: "You look like a pig's arse. Right now you look ugly as ... like a pig's arse.

"And why is that? Because of your stinking behaviour."

Image source, Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption,
Kay-Ann Morris and Juanila Smikle were found guilty of cruelty to Shanay

Shanay was placed in her aunt's care after her mother, Leanne Walker, suffered post-natal depression.

The mobile phone was found when police searched Morris's home in Nottingham after Shanay's death in July 2014.

A post-mortem examination showed Shanay died of a brain injury and had more than 50 injuries to her body.

'You should be ashamed'

The phone contained several hundred recordings, which Morris had made covertly during meetings with Shanay's teachers, social workers and health professionals.

The phone continued recording after one of the meetings at Shanay's school in September 2013, which was when the "pig's arse" comments were picked up.

Shanay can also be heard scolding her niece during the meeting itself, saying: "You did wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself.

"Let's see if this is going to be the last time because you've apologised several times before. Let's see if it's going to be the last time, right?"

Image source, Family Handout
Image caption,
Shanay's mother Leanne Walker suffered post-natal depression after another pregnancy

The inquest heard that Shanay's school, Southglade Primary, had raised concerns about bruising on her.

However, Morris claimed her niece was attempting to self-harm and the bruising was also from being pushed around at school.

During Morris and Smikle's trial, the prosecution alleged Morris subjected her niece to a "sustained, vicious and brutal beating" that resulted in her death.

Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
The judge was satisfied Shanay's aunt beat her "over and over" shortly before she died

Morris elected not to give evidence at the trial but previously told police officers Shanay had accidently fallen down the stairs.

Sentencing her in June 2015, Mr Justice Macduff said it was clear jurors could not be sure if Morris had caused the injury that killed her.

"Maybe you were not responsible for the fatal head injury. But whatever its cause, I am wholly satisfied that you beat Shanay over and over, shortly before she died," the judge said.

The inquest continues.

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