true crime

Mother of murdered toddler Sanaya Sahib faces court for the first time.

The woman accused of murdering her own toddler and dumping the child’s body in a Melbourne creek has made her first appearance in court.

Sofina Nikat sparked a desperate search in the Heidelberg West area after claiming a barefoot man of African appearance had snatched her 14-month-old daughter, Sanaya Sahib, from her pram.

Sanaya’s body was discovered partially submerged in nearby Darebin Creek less than 24 hours later, with CCTV footage from the area leading police to arrest the 22-year-old.

Video by Channel 7

Nikat appeared in court via video link from Dame Phyllis Frost Centre on Wednesday, where the case was adjourned for two weeks while prosecutors await analysis of pathology tests, reports The Herald Sun.

Nikat had been due to face Melbourne Magistrate’s Court for a file mention on April 13, but a psychiatric doctor deemed her “too unstable” to appear.

The previous day, police told the court Nikat had made a full confession, leading to her being charged with one count of murder.


Sofina Nikat shortly after Sanaya's disappearance. Image: Channel 7

The toddler's April disappearance sparked a full-scale police search involving mounted police, SES volunteers and members of the public.

It was a family of four that ultimately made the heartbreaking discovery, having been motivated to join the search by memories of their own missing relative.

Sanaya was laid to rest in Dandenong on April 16, buried in a tiny coffin hand-built by her father, Sameer Sahib.

Nikat has been remanded in custody until August 21.