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Family of tragic Sara Sharif found dead in her home could soon lose council home for absconding


THE family of tragic ten-year-old Sara Sharif (above), who was found dead in her abandoned family home, could soon be formally evicted from the property.

Woking Council, which confirmed it housed her family in two council homes, including the one where she died in Hammond Road, Horsell, about five months ago, said tenants could not simply disappear and expect to retain their home.

A council spokeswoman said: "Tenants are required to notify us if they’re leaving the property vacant for a month or longer. "Otherwise we may take further action to recover the property."

However, Surrey Police has said it will maintain a presence there for several weeks.

Today (Tuesday, August 29) an inquest was opened into her death at Surrey Coroners' Court.

Surrey County Council has confirmed that Sara was known to its social services department and Surrey Police has also said that it had historic contact with her family at an earlier address.

A post mortem examination has been unable to ascertain how she died exactly, but found that she suffered multiple injuries that were sustained over a long period of time.

The inquest opening into her death today confirmed that the exact cause of death was “not yet ascertained”, but was likely to be “unnatural”.

Coroner Simon Wickens, adjourned inquest proceedings until 29 February to allow Surrey police to continue investigating. He offered his “sincere condolences” to all those “touched by Sara’s short life”.

Det Supt Chapman had previously said: "Surrey Police's contact with the family has been on a limited basis. It's been on a historic basis. And that goes back some years."

The force would not give any further details.

Before moving into the property the family were housed by the council at an address in Byfleet after living in a number of private rentals.

Woking Council said it had no reports about anti-social behaviour or other concerns regarding the family at either of the council properties.

It comes as an inquest into her death will be opened and adjourned on Tuesday.

The discovery of her body was made at the home on August 10, after her father made a 999 call to police from Islamabad in Pakistan the same day..

Her father Urfan Sharif, 41, (above left) left the country a day earlier with his partner Beinash Batool, (above right) 29, and his brother Faisal Malik, 28.

Last Thursday the force made a fresh appeal for information two weeks after her death.

Det Supt Mark Chapman said: "We know that there will be lots of people in the Woking community and beyond who will have had contact with Sara who may not already have come forward, and we would encourage them to do so.

"Any information is better than no information.

"Although you might think it's insignificant, it might be vital to the investigation and in helping us to bring justice for Sara."

One mother from Sara's school, St Mary's C of E primary school in Byfleet, revealed this week her daughter saw Sara with cuts and bruises there, but when asked what had happened Sara said she had fallen off her bike.

She was reportedly being home schooled since April.

Also last week, it was reported that Sara's uncle Imran Sharif told officers in Pakistan that she broke her neck after she slipped and fell down the stairs, however, he claimed not to know where her father was.

His account conflicted with a note reportedly found by police at the property written by someone which said: "Whoever sees this, it was XXXX who killed… (Sara)… by beating."

Ms Batool's family home in Mirpur was also searched, but the family was nowhere to be seen, Jhelum police have said.



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