A mother who starved her seven-year-old daughter to death has been cleared of murder after prosecutors accepted her defence of diminished responsibility.
Angela Gordon, who admitted the manslaughter of Khyra Ishaq two weeks ago, was formally found not guilty of murder by jurors at Birmingham Crown Court on the orders of trial judge Mr Justice Roderick Evans.
The decision by the Crown to accept Gordon's plea to the lesser charge came after she admitted five counts of child cruelty and psychiatrists agreed that she was suffering from severe depression when Khyra died in May 2008.
Her plea was accepted in the sixth week of a retrial after several days of psychiatric assessment and legal argument.
Gordon, 35, and Khyra's stepfather, 30-year-old Junaid Abuhamza, who also pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, will now be sentenced on Friday next week.
Explaining the decision not to pursue the murder charge against Gordon, prosecutor Timothy Raggatt QC said three psychiatrists had agreed that she was suffering from severe depression in the month before Khyra died at her home in Leyton Road, Handsworth, Birmingham.
Mr Raggatt added: "For that reason we cannot resist the defence of diminished responsibility, now raised for the first time.
"It is extraordinary that it emerges so late (in the trial) but the sole reason for that is the denial... that Angela Gordon has put up around herself for all these months."