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London - A mother starved her son to death and then lived with his mummified corpse for almost two years, a court has heard.
Amanda Hutton, 43, kept the tiny corpse of her four-year-old Hamzah Khan in a cot in her bedroom after he died of malnutrition.
His growth had been so stunted that he was still wearing a baby-gro meant for an infant six to nine months old when he was found.
Bradford Crown Court heard his mother went on with her life while his body decomposed. Within hours of Hamzah’s death, she ordered a pizza - and continued to claim child benefit in his name.
Hutton is on trial accused of his manslaughter by gross negligence on two grounds - failing to feed her son adequately and failing to seek medical help for him when it was needed. She denies the charge.
Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said: “How had a child starved to death in 21st century England?
“The prosecution case is simple - Amanda Hutton failed to provide her child with the nourishment that he needed to survive and, in so failing, she killed him. Hamzah’s growth had been stunted because he was malnourished over a lengthy period and that state of affairs had resulted in his death.
“In short, he starved to death.”
Mr Greaney said that after Hamzah’s death on December 15, 2009, former care assistant Hutton placed him in his cot beside a teddy.
The body was only found on September 21, 2011, when two PCSOs visited her home in Crofton Road, Bradford, to investigate complaints of dirty nappies thrown into a neighbour’s garden.
They immediately noticed a smell in the house and alerted social services and senior police.
Mr Greaney said the house had “overwhelming conditions of squalor” with piles of rubbish, faeces, rotting matter and flies.
He added: “Furthermore, in the bedroom of Amanda Hutton a police officer found the mummified corpse of a child. That child was Hamzah Khan, who had been born over six years earlier.”
The prosecutor alleged that Hamzah was often locked in his room by Hutton, who he said was an alcoholic and cannabis smoker.He said that in police interviews Hutton said Hamzah had become very ill on December 14, 2009.
She said the next day she went to a supermarket to consult a pharmacist but got a phone call to come home. On return, she discovered Hamzah was near to death and she was unable to revive him.
Mr Greaney told the court: “She made no call for assistance - for a doctor or an ambulance. Within hours she was ordering a pizza.
“So, no call for assistance but a call, or even calls, for pizza. Moreover, she thereafter continued to claim child benefit in respect of her dead son.”
Mr Greaney said Hutton told police that things deteriorated after her son’s death and she began to drink a bottle of vodka a day. The court heard that she was in a “violent” relationship with Hamzah’s father, mechanic Aftab Khan, until late 2008, after which he was no longer involved.
Prosecution witnesses due to give evidence during the five-week trial are expected to say Hamzah had osteoporosis caused by malnutrition.
Forensic anthropologist Julie Roberts, who looked at the skeletal development of Hamzah, said it fell within the range comparable to a child aged between one year and 18 months.
Mr Greaney said he expected Hutton’s defence to be that her son’s malnutrition was due to “some naturally occurring condition”.
The trial continues. - Daily Mail