The heartbroken uncle of schoolgirl Sara Sharif has urged police to 'catch the scumbag that killed my niece' as the hunt for her father and two others
The heartbroken uncle of schoolgirl Sara Sharif has urged police to ‘catch the scumbag that killed my niece’ as the hunt for her father and two others suspected of her death intensifies.
Sara, 10, was found dead in the home she shared with her father Urfan Sharif, 41, stepmother Benash Batool, 21, and five other siblings – the family has now vanished along with her uncle Faisal Malik, 29, and an international manhunt is underway.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline Sara’s Polish uncle, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals, revealed how Sharif was a gambler and claimed he is prone to violence – with police often called to the family home in Woking, Surrey, when Sara lived with her real mum Olga.
He even claimed how former taxi driver Sharif – who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan – even chillingly once told Olga during a custody battle after they divorced over their two children to ‘stop complaining or she would be found dead somewhere’.
He spoke as reports revealed police had ‘historic contact’ with the family of Sara Sharif that ‘goes back some years’.
An uncle of ten-year-old Sara Sharif (pictured) who was tragically found dead in a house in Woking has reportedly told police she ‘fell down the stairs and broke her neck’
Urfan Sharif (left) fled the UK with his partner Beinash Batool (centre), brother Faisal Malik (right). They are wanted for questioning over Sara’s murder
Det Supt Chapman told the BBC: ‘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 time.’
He said police interaction with the schoolgirl’s family ‘goes back some years’ but declined to expand on his comment. MailOnline has contacted Surrey Police for further comment.
Speaking to MailOnline, the Polish uncle said: ‘After Sara was born, they had some financial troubles and we couldn’t visit them as often. We knew there was a conflict between Olga and Urfan although Olga was not very open about it. She didn’t discuss their trouble with her family, maybe with her mother. They need to catch the scumbag that killed my niece.
‘At the beginning Urfan was very charming but he was an actor, he deceived us all. Urfan was a gambler, he was addicted. He used to borrow money for gambling machines. His friends and cousins used to spend a lot of time in their home not allowing Olga to walk around the house unattended.
‘His behaviour led to conflict and then physical and psychological violence. Police were called many times. There was an incident when Urfan locked Olga and the kids in a room with no food or water for many hours. Olga called us asking for help but Urfan heard the conversation, took the phone away and beat Olga. Living in Germany we called the UK police to Urfan and Olga’s home.
‘After having a fight with Olga he used to call our family to b**** about Olga, afterwards he would threaten to hurt her, take her kids away. Olga was financially dependent on him, he used to scare her saying she has no rights in the UK as she doesn’t speak English that well.
‘At some point he threatened her saying if she keeps getting on his nerves about the children some day she will be found dead somewhere.’
Urfan Sharif (left) and Beinash Batool (right) are wanted for murder, leading to an international manhunt
Sara was discovered dead by police at her family home on August 10, and police confirmed that three family members were believed to have fled to Pakistan the day before she was found.
Police were called by her father Urfan Sharif, 41, who is understood to have rushed to Islamabad with his partner Beinash Batool, 29, and his 28-year-old brother Faisal Malik, before they could be questioned in the UK. An international manhunt has been launched for the three adults, but the UK has no formal extradition treaty with Pakistan.
The Polish uncle also revealed that Sharif had a wife in Pakistan and added: ‘Our family did not know about it. Him and his family were hiding it from us. Eventually his Pakistani wife called Olga and that’s how we found out.
‘They differed about religion. Olga wanted to give her children a choice, but Urfan wanted their children to be raised Muslim. The children spoke only English and he used to threaten them that if they told someone about the trouble they were having at home, the police would come and take them to a children’s home.
‘After their divorce he manipulated the children buying them presents Olga could not afford. He even hit Olga in court before a child custody hearing. Our family did not support this relationship from the very beginning, but Olga was in love so she left her life in Poland and moved to England with Urfan.’
He also told MailOnline how Sharif’s current partner Beinash didn’t want Olga to have dealings with the children and said: ‘Olga had a fight with her over the phone about this. After this fight Olga completely lost contact with her children at the end of 2021.
‘Our family has lost touch with the children as well. Olga contacted social services about it, but did not receive any help. Occasionally Urfan would send Olga pictures of the children. After a while he moved and did not give Olga his new address.
‘Olga is in a bad way at the moment, she is taking sleeping pills and sedatives to cope with the situation. She is in a bad mental state. It’s very difficult to describe. Our mother went to be with Olga to support her. After she saw Sara’s body, she was devastated.’
Police were called by her father Urfan Sharif, 41, who is understood to have rushed to Islamabad
When asked how the family remembered Sara, he said: ’She was happy, smiling, goofy. She loved to dance, play the guitar and sing. She was a very open and confident girl. We have a video of her and her brother Nolan dancing on a street to a guitar that some man was playing. Her brother is in captivity by Urfan right now.
‘He must be held accountable for his actions. I don’t want to say what we wish for him. We cannot understand how he could treat his own child this way, how could he treat her body this way. This act was inhuman.
‘In case of an accident people seek help, they call an ambulance. The autopsy showed bruises. Olga couldn’t recognise her daughter. They had to do a DNA test. We hope they capture him. Urfan’s second wife, who was taking care of the children, is responsible for allowing this to happen too.
‘The social services must be held accountable as well. There are many similar cases. The social services must do their job properly. At the moment we just want for Sara’s body to be returned to Poland.’
Heartbroken mum Olga Sharif, who now lives in Somerset, who had visiting rights for her two children, revealed to MailOnline that in January 2011, while still married to Sharif, she received a letter from a woman claiming that she and Sharif were planning to get married.
She said: ‘When I showed him this letter he said she was lying because she always wanted to be his wife.’ Olga added he then immediately burned the letter.
Surrey Police have said Sharif made a 999 call from Pakistan shortly after landing in Pakistan earlier this month, with his partner, brother and five children aged between one and 13 and on August 10 in the early hours police entered the family home in Woking and found Sara dead.
It comes after Surrey Council revealed Sara was known to them before her death.
A spokeswoman previously told MailOnline: ‘We can confirm Sara Sharif was known to Surrey County Council but we cannot comment further while the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership’s thorough review process is ongoing.’
Surrey County Council has said they are ‘working tirelessly’ to fully understand the consequences that led to Sara’s death while police have not referred themselves to the IOPC, saying their knowledge of the family was ‘historic’ and that the case did not meet the threshold to do so.
Last night it was reported that an uncle of the ten-year-old girl had told police she ‘fell down the stairs and broke her neck’ after being detained in Pakistan.
Her uncle Imran Sharif has not been charged but is said to be assisting the hunt for his brother, Sara’s father, after it was reported police in Pakistan are under ‘tremendous pressure’ from the British High Commission to find him.
Imran Sharif claims Sara had an accident at home, according to Sky News.
He allegedly told officers: ‘Beinash was home with the children. Sara fell down the stairs and broke her neck. Beinash panicked and phoned Urfan.
Surrey Police said a post-mortem revealed that Sara ‘suffered multiple and extensive injuries’, which they said were ‘likely to have been caused over a sustained and extended period of time’.
Her exact cause of death remains unknown and further tests are being carried out.
Imran Sharif denied knowing where Urfan and his family were, Jhelum police said.
He reportedly told officers: ‘I found out what happened to Sara through the international media. My parents told me Urfan briefly came home very upset. He kept saying ‘they’ are going to take his children away from him.’
Police said they have detained Mr Sharif’s brother because they are ‘convinced’ that he knows where the family is hiding.
It has also been claimed that Mr Sharif’s parents along with other relatives, who live in a large house in the city of Jhelum in Pakistan’s Punjab province, have also now gone into hiding.
Beinash Batool’s family home in Mirpur has also been searched, but with no sign of the family.
A police source said: ‘We spoke to Imran and some of the family members last week and they insisted that they did not know where Urfan and his family are.
‘But we don’t believe them, there’s absolutely no way that they can’t know where eight of their relatives who have come from England are. They are telling us a pack of lies.’
They added: ‘We managed to get hold of Imran, but the rest of his family have gone missing. They clearly have something to hide. We have got hold of one of them and will be interrogating him until he tells us the truth.’
Separately, Sara’s mother, Polish woman Olga Sharif, 36, who was married to Mr Sharif between 2009 to 2017, urged her ex-husband to ‘come forward and explain himself.’
Heartbroken Ms Sharif praised her daughter as ‘an amazing child,’ adding: ‘She was so beautiful. I can’t believe she’s dead.’
Sara’s mother, Polish woman Olga Sharif, 36, pictured left, who was married to Mr Sharif between 2009 to 2017, urged her ex-husband to ‘come forward and explain himself’
Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman, from the Surrey Police and Sussex Police Major Crime Team, said: ‘We now know that Sara had suffered multiple and extensive injuries over a sustained and extended period which has significantly changed the nature of our investigation, and we have widened the timescale of the focus of our enquiry.
‘As a result, we are trying to piece together a picture of Sara’s lifestyle but we cannot do this without the public’s help.
‘That is why we are appealing for anyone who knew Sara, had any form of contact with her, or has any other information about her, no matter how insignificant it might seem, to come forward as soon as possible.’
On Friday council leader Tim Oliver said: ‘This is an incredibly sad situation and our thoughts and deepest condolences are with everyone affected.’
He said the national Child Safeguarding panel has been notified of the death and a multi-agency rapid review is under way, in line with standard process following the death of a child.
He explained: ‘This rapid review will determine whether a local child safeguarding practice review (LCSPR) is to be undertaken by the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership.
‘An LCSPR is a statutory process, bringing together partners including the police, health, social care and education to review practice of all agencies involved, organisational structures and learning.’