West Yorkshire Police face probe over Huddersfield woman left in vegetative state by family

Ambreen Sheikh
Ambreen Sheikh remains in a vegetative state almost nine years later. Credit: West Yorkshire Police

The police watchdog will investigate whether there were missed opportunities to protect a vulnerable woman from the relatives who left her in a vegetative state.

Ambreen Sheikh was 30 when she suffered a catastrophic brain injury after being given an anti-diabetes drug she did not need in 2015.

Family members waited two or three days before calling an ambulance after she collapsed at her home in Huddersfield.

Medics found Mrs Sheikh, who had been brought from Pakistan to the UK for an arranged marriage, had also been doused in a caustic substance.

Her husband, 31-year-old Asgar Sheikh, was among five people sentenced last week.

Asgar Sheikh was jailed, along with his father, Khalid, and mother, Shabnam. Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Sheikh, along with his father Khalid, 55, mother Shabnam, 52, and sister Shagufa, 29, were all found guilty of allowing a vulnerable adult to suffer physical harm in December.

Asgar Sheikh, Shabnam Sheikh and Shagufa Sheikh and another sibling, Sakalyne Sheikh, were also found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

The court heard West Yorkshire Police officers attended the family property in Clara Street on 12 July 2015 following a report of concern for Mrs Sheikh’s welfare – almost three weeks before she was admitted to Calderdale Royal Hospital with severe chemical burns and a brain injury.

Mrs Sheikh remains in a vegetative state with no prospect of recovery almost nine years later.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has launched an investigation into the contact officers had with the family and the "actions and decision-making" of those involved.

The abuse of Ambreen Sheikh took place at the family's home in Clara Street, Huddersfield. Credit: MEN Media

IOPC regional director Emily Barry said: “Our thoughts are with Ms Sheikh and her loved ones, as well as all those affected by this deeply distressing incident.

“In light of the comments made during the recent court hearing, and the unimaginable suffering she has endured, it is only right that a thorough investigation takes place to understand the nature and extent of the police interaction with Ms Sheikh in July 2015.

“This will be carried out entirely independently of the police and consider whether there were any missed opportunities to safeguard her in the days and weeks before she was admitted to hospital.”

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