Khyra Ishaq's killer, Junaid Abuhamza, was only a child when he witnessed his father brutally beating his four-year-old sister, Rachel, to death for failing to flush the toilet.
The 31-year-old was born in Birmingham as Samual Williams. Birmingham Crown Court heard that as a child he was sexually abused and beaten.
And psychiatrists diagnosed him as suffering from schizophrenia and said he saw both the house and Khyra as being possessed by an evil spirit.
Professor Femi Oyebode, head of the department of psychiatry at the University of Birmingham, said that food would have had a deeply symbolic meaning for Abuhamza. Inside Khyra’s home everything that should have been normal was turned on its head.
“Withdrawal of food can easily be used as punishment because it has all this symbolic meaning,” Prof Oyebode said. “It’s pleasurable, it’s used to reward people, it’s usually a social event, you can see why it’s a powerful re-enforcer. And the withdrawal of it can be a powerful means and measure of punishment.”
Khyra’s biological dad Ishaq Abuzaire said he was also aware that his daughter’s killer had issues with food.
He said Abuhamza frequently complained of being hungry when he met him at his local mosque.
He said: “I knew Junaid well. We met at Wright Street mosque in Small Heath and would pray together from time to time. Junaid had fallen on hard times when I knew him.
"He had no money for anything and couldn’t even feed himself. I gave him the clothes off my back and made sure he had a full stomach. He would come over to me in the Mosque, stood there in front of me and rub his belly like a pauper and tell me he hadn’t eaten in days.
"So I took him under my wing and taught him how to look after himself. I had him over to the house on a few occasions to eat with us and helped him out wherever I could. I treated him like one of my own children and then he stabbed me in the back.
“What he did to me was a betrayal but what he did to Khyra was an abomination.”
Abuhamza had also been a heavy cannabis user.
Prof Oyebode said: “There is a high risk a person with schizophrenia who also misuses drugs will harm others.”
He said he was surprised that Abuhamza was neither being monitored by mental health teams or on medication.
The jury had earlier accepted Abuhamza’s guilty plea to the manslaughter of his stepdaughter Khyra.
He also admitted five charges of child cruelty.