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Father, girlfriend who tortured young girl to death get life in prison

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- An Emirati man and his girlfriend were each sentenced to life in prison Monday for confining, torturing and killing his 8-year-old daughter Wudeema.

The Dubai Cassation Court confirmed the life sentences after rejecting a death sentence request by prosecutors, Gulf News reported.

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The 30-year-old father, Hamad Saud al-Shirawi, and his 28-year-old Emirati girlfriend, al-Onoud al-Ameri, were found guilty on charges for keeping Wudeema and her 7-year-old sister Meera confined in a room in their home and beating them. Wudeema died due to the abuse in October 2012 while Meera suffered 10 percent permanent disability.

"Dubai police's forensic examiner failed to confirm the real cause of Wudeema's death," Shirawi told the court before he was sentenced. "Prosecution witnesses gave contradictory statements.

"The scenario in which prosecutors said I committed the crime was nothing more than fabrications from my ex-wife. Why would I be accused of confining my two daughters although a Sharia court had granted me their custody. Actually their mother ditched them."

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