Mother appears in UK court accused of starving boy, 4
on 18/09/2013 13:33:02
Hamzah Khan's body was still dressed in a baby-gro when police made the "dreadful discovery" at his house in Bradford, West Yorkshire, a court heard.
Details of how Hamzah's body was found in September 2011 were outlined when his mother Amanda Hutton went on trial at Bradford Crown Court today.
Hutton, 43, denies her son's manslaughter.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Paul Greaney QC told the jury that Hamzah died when he was four-and-a-half years old on December 15 2009.
But the barrister said his remains were found 21 months later in clothing intended for a baby aged six to nine months.
He said these clothes fitted him.
"Hamzah's growth had been stunted," Mr Greaney said.
"It had been stunted because he was malnourished over a lengthy period and that state of affairs resulted in his death.
"In short, he starved to death.
"How had a child starved to death in 21st century England?"
He said: "Amanda Hutton failed to provide her child with the nourishment that he needed to survive and, in so failing, she killed him."
Hutton watched the proceedings from the dock dressed in a black top, cardigan and skirt.
She was flanked by one woman security officer.
Mr Greaney said Hamzah's body was found after police community support officer Jodie Worsley spoke to Hutton and became concerned about the smell coming from her house.
Eventually, more police arrived and went into the property.
"What they discovered disturbed even hardened officers," he said.
Mr Greaney said the officers were faced with "conditions of squalor".
He told the jury: "Furthermore, within a cot in the bedroom of Amanda Hutton, a police officer named Richard Dove made a dreadful discovery.
"Within that cot, beneath other items, he found the mummified corpse of a child."
The prosecutor said Hutton was an abuser of alcohol and cannabis.
Mr Greaney said the jury will have to consider whether Hamzah "became a secondary and less important consideration than those addictions".
He said the defendant worked as care assistant in the past and there was evidence that she had undergone some first-aid training.
Mr Greaney told the jury he expects Hutton's defence lawyers to argue that Hamzah's malnutrition could have arisen through "some naturally occurring condition".
He said the prosecution case was that Hutton was guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence on two grounds - that she failed to feed him adequately and failed to seek medical assistance for him.
The jury heard that Hamzah's father, Aftab Khan, was separated from Hutton and lived elsewhere.
Mr Greaney said there is evidence Mr Khan was violent towards the defendant.