Shocking moment mum carries dead baby into lobby of luxury hotel after Brit pilot father ‘crushed skull in drunken rage’

A BRITISH pilot faces 20 years in prison for allegedly beating his one-year-old child to death while staying at a five-star hotel in Russia.

Shocking CCTV footage captured the moment the child’s distraught mother carried her “motionless” baby into the hotel lobby, desperate for help.


The confronting video shows one-year-old Sophia Barakat being clutched by her mother, 23-year-old Madina.

Little Sophia – who was “always smiling” according to a witness who saw her before the tragedy – appeared “blue” and  was ”not breathing".

Madina is seen pleading with the staff at the InterContinental Hotel in Almaty, Kazakhstan, before momentarily laying her little girl on the reception counter.

The distraught mother sinks to the floor and has to be helped up by a hotel security man, who had just called an ambulance. 

Madina carries Sophia to a sofa in the hotel lobby, but collapses again on the floor.

The video finishes with a medic rushing to the child, who was soon afterwards pronounced dead. 

Hotel staff say the Kazakh wife allegedly blamed her husband, British commercial airline captain Mohamed Barakat, 41, for Sophia’s death, shouting: “He killed my child, he hit her.”

An investigation has unfolded, with the Airbus 330 pilot facing 20 years in prison if convicted of his daughter’s murder.


However in a startling new development, Barakat – who has plead not guilty – told the court in Almaty he had a long history of suffering from epilepsy, and that Sophia died in an “accident” in the hotel room when he suffered a “seizure”.

Barakat claimed his epilepsy was known to doctors in Hong Kong and Malaysia involved in his medical checks as a pilot – despite the condition often being a reason for not granting a flying permit.

Barakat told judge Bakhytkhan Bakirbayev he had been prone to epileptic attacks since 1996-97, when he had been involved in a car accident in London.

Questioned on Sophia’s “injuries from multiple impacts”, the pilot told the judge: “I had a seizure. I don't remember anything about what happened to Sophia.”

“You are asking me to give you information while I was in a seizure but I cannot give you any.”

The insisted there was “absolutely no possibility that I ever hurt a single hair on her head,” adding that conscious or unconscious, he would “never, ever hurt my own daughter.”

Barakat also denied being in a drunken rage following a night out or taking “illegal substances” after evidence had suggested he could have been on drugs during several days in Almaty between flights.

Evidence from his wife also suggested he had a stash of cannabis in his hotel room before the tragedy, although police found no evidence of this.

Barakat went on to allege that a senior police investigator attempted to bribe him, demanding $60,000 to switch the charge against him from murder to causing the child’s accidental death on on 24 October 2019. 

The same detective had concluded the death was an "accident”, yet also reportedly demanded $1,000 in cash from Madina so she could speak to her husband in police detention, Barakat claimed.

He described the detective’s actions as “an absolute disgrace.”

Madina rescinded her earlier statement and strongly denied blaming Barakat for killing their daughter. 

She said: “I don’t believe my husband killed our daughter as there are no reasons and motives for this.”

Sources in Kazakhstan have denied a claim by Barakat in court earlier this month that he had started a hunger strike.

His employer, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Airlines, has not responded to a request for comment. 

Barakat had previously worked as a pilot for low cost Malaysian airline AirAsia. 


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