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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kiesha Abrahams murder trial begins

Please help me find my baby

When the parents of missing 6 year old Kiesha Abrahams made a tearful television appearance, begging for information about their daughter, the whole scenario looked suspicious.  As the days passed, a shrine for the little girl was set up near her home in Mt Druitt, and a mound of soft toys, cards of flowers grew bigger every day. The whole country was willing Kiesha to come home safely.

Detective Inspector Russell Oxford

Detective Inspector Russell Oxford, one of the state’s most experienced homicide investigators said “This case will remain open until we find out what happened to Kiesha.  I will never give up on her and neither will the other police who have been working tirelessly to solve this mystery.”

Then news was released that Kiesha went to hospital when she was two years old with a bite mark made by a human, and a witness saw the stepfather hitting her in the face in their car in a supermarket carpark. But six months went by and there were still no arrests and thoughts of the little girl began to fade.

Kiesha allegedly died after being thrown against a wall and knocked unconscious, causing blood to seep out of her ears.  She was then allegedly put in the shower and, still wet, put to bed. Luminol revealed there was blood in the unit, after a careful clean up.

Police allege that Kiesha Abrahams was killed by her mother and stepfather in their Sydney unit between July 20 and 27, 2010.  They further allege that they kept the body of the child in their unit for several days, then Smith put her in a suitcase and took her to an isolated spot in the bush, burnt her remains and buried her there.  In the middle of the night, carrying a bunch of flowers, Kristi Abrahams and Robert Smith walked into a police trap.

It was Kiesha's seventh birthday and police got a tip-off that the couple would visit the grave that day, and when they did, 30 police officers would be waiting.

The couple bought flowers at a local kiosk and took a taxi to nearby Shalvey, where they set off on foot into the bush.  They spent a long time around Kiesha's grave and around 1 am, as they were on their way back, police emerged from the bush and arrested them.  After their arrest, they had the audacity to ask for permission to leave prison to attend Kiesha's funeral.

Yesterday, Kiesha's stepfather Robert Smith faced the first day of his sentencing hearing in the Supreme Court. After murder charges were dropped, he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his step-daughter, the child he told police he loved as his own.

Kristi Abrahams playing the distraught mother

Crown Prosecutor Keith Alder told the court Smith, knowing that Kiesha had been hurt in the evening and wouldn't wake up, went to work the next morning and when he returned home, discovered she was dead. That's when they hatched the "disappearance" scam.

Prayer vigil for missing Kiesha

The court heard that Smith was "easily lead" by Kiesha's mother Kristi Anne Abrahams, who won't face trial until June.  She had not entered a plea.

Edit May 3, 2013:  Justice Megan Latham today sentenced Robert Smith, Kiesha's stepfather, to a maximum 16 years jail with a 12 year non-parole period.  Kiesha's mother will face trial for her murder later this year.