A mother who allegedly murdered her five-year-old daughter showed no visible emotion when she appeared in court today.
Martina Madarova, 41, is accused of killing the little girl, Alijah Thomas, at the family’s home in Ealing, West London on Tuesday.
Madarova appeared in the dock wearing a grey prison-issued tracksuit at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London.
She spoke only to give her name, date of birth and address during the two-minute hearing before she was remanded in custody.
Chair of the Magistrates William Hammond told her: ‘This is an indictable only offence and therefore this must appear at a Crown Court.
‘You will appear next on Central Criminal Court on 20 September this year. Meanwhile you will be remanded in custody.’
Police were called to the family’s first floor flat in tree-lined Leyborne Avenue, where homes range between £800,000 and £1million, on Tuesday lunchtime.
Alijah was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem to establish her cause of death is due to take place later today.
Martina Madarova, 41, allegedly killed Aijah Thomas at an address in Ealing on Tuesday
Despite efforts from paramedics and police, the five-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene
The house is located in the Northfields area of Ealing, west London
The Met Police said earlier today: ‘Detectives investigating the death of a five-year-old girl in Ealing have charged her mother with murder.
‘Police were called at 12:56hrs on Tuesday, 14 September after concerns were raised for the welfare of the occupants of a residential address on Leyborne Avenue, W13.
‘Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended. Despite their efforts, a five-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. She has since been identified as Aijah Thomas.
‘Her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers. A post-mortem examination has been scheduled for Thursday, 16 September.’
A horrified neighbour described the victim as ‘a lovely little girl’ who was ‘always well dressed and looked after’. A witness said she saw a couple being questioned outside the house where the girl’s body was found.
The area is popular with young families due to being close to Fielding Primary School and Elthorne Park High School, which have both been rated ‘outstanding’ by the education watchdog Ofsted.
A woman who lives next door, but did not want to be named, said: ‘I’ve known the family for about three years – the mother is from the Czech Republic and he is from Jamaica.
‘She was friendly with me and they were always good to me.
Police were called to the property at 12.56pm on Tuesday after concerns for the occupants inside
‘I’m so shocked because she was such a lovely little girl. She was shy and didn’t always answer me.
‘Her mother never had a cross word with her daughter and always spoke to her in a friendly way. She was always well dressed and looked after from what I could see.
‘When I saw them last year, they always seemed friendly. Her husband’s mother came and stayed with them during lockdown.
‘She told me that her husband and her used to argue sometimes, but that was a long time ago.
‘Once I was taking the rubbish out and I heard them having a bad argument. I didn’t understand what they were saying, but they were speaking very loudly.
‘But even though they rowed a lot, they always seemed to make up. You know children don’t understand, but they know what’s going on. They were good neighbours, but I guess you never know.’
Lorraine Clifford, 48, from Hanwell said: ‘I’m a carer and saw four police cars pull up and two ambulances.
‘I thought, there must be a body in there because I saw the forensics. It’s just so sad because it’s a child.
‘The police were questioning what I guess was the parents on the wall.
‘It didn’t seem like the police were angry or anything like that. It just seemed like they were separating them and caring for them.’