An anti-terrorism court on Monday sentenced a suspect to life in prison for sexually assaulting and murdering a four-year-old girl in Mardan.

The court found 15-year-old Mohammad Nabi guilty of sexually abusing and killing the minor girl and awarded him life imprisonment. It also imposed a fine of Rs 1 million on the convict.

Four-year-old Asma went missing on January 13 from Jandarpar Gujjar Garhi area of Mardan and her body was found from sugarcane fields in the same area on January 17.

According to police, the convict, who worked at a local restaurant, had come to attend a marriage ceremony where he lured the minor into nearby fields and assaulted her.

Nabi, who is a cousin of the victim girl, strangulated her to death while trying to stop her from screaming.

According to the postmortem report, she was subjected to sexual assault and torture before the suspect strangled her to death.

The KP police had received a lot of flak over failure to nab in a timely manner the culprit behind the grisly incident, which came to the light following the rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab in Kasur which led to a wave of revulsion and anger across the country.