UK & World News
'Mummified' Boy: Mother Amanda Hutton Guilty
A mother who starved her four-year-old son to death and left his body in her bedroom until it became mummified has been found guilty of his manslaughter.
Amanda Hutton, 43, showed no emotion as she was convicted by a jury following five hours of deliberations at Bradford Crown Court.
The court heard that Hamzah Khan's mummified body was found in Hutton's Bradford bedroom almost two years after he died in December 2009.
Hutton had cried in court as she described how Hamzah starved himself and died in her home.
She claimed he was a fussy eater and a difficult child and that she thought he would put on weight when he got older.
But the jury heard Hamzah's short life involved starvation, punishments and neglect at the hands of a "nasty drunk" who had more time for alcohol than her son.
The jury heard the boy's daily diet in his last year consisted of milk, half a banana, half a supermarket pasty, and "whatever was lying around".
Tests on Hamzah's remains showed he had the bones of a 12 to 18-month-old baby and had no muscle and hardly any flesh when he died.
His body was found still wearing a soiled nappy and a sleepsuit for a six to nine-month-old baby, which was said to fit him comfortably.
Hutton said she left his body in a travel cot for almost two years because she did not know what to do.
Sky News has discovered that Bradford social services were tipped off about concerns in the house 15 months after Hamzah died, but no one demanded to see him despite his non-attendance at school and concerns about his welfare going back to 2006.
In court it was revealed that West Yorkshire Police, social services and local health services had been aware of the risks to Hamzah from his mother's lifestyle.
A statutory serious case review, due to be published within the next few weeks, is expected to highlight concerns over why Hamzah's GP practice struck him off their list when his mother failed to bring him to appointments.
No health professional saw Hamzah after he was three weeks old, which David Tucker, head of policy at the NSPCC, said should on its own have raised alarms.
"Children not appearing at medical appointments is an indicator of risk that a parent or a carer is trying to avoid a professional seeing that child and seeing the abuse or neglect that that child is suffering," he said.
"It is a well-known risk factor but it seems not to have raised the right set of alarms in this particular case."
Since Hamzah's birth the police had dealt with at least six allegations of domestic abuse involving Hutton and her partner Aftab Khan, while social services had been involved at least five times.
Three multi-agency meetings were held in the year he died to discuss the risks faced by the household, which included Hamzah's oldest brother Tariq, now 24.
Professor Nick Frost, independent chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) said: "This is a tragic case for everyone involved.
"BSCB initiated a serious case review following the discovery of Hamzah's body and the report will be published after the court, coronial and other necessary procedures are completed.
"The main aim of the report is to make sure all agencies involved learn lessons and change working practices where necessary.
"However, given the refusal of all offers of help that would be offered to any mother and the lack of serious concerns raised from any other source, there was limited involvement from statutory agencies."
Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford Council's Executive Member for Children and Young People, said: "Hamzah's death is a dreadful tragedy which has shocked and appalled local people.
"We welcome the Serious Case Review and its public examination of the circumstances of Hamzah's death.
"Serious case reviews lead to learning and action to make children safer, in our district and across the country."
Hamzah's body was only found after a police community support officer investigating a complaint about rubbish became suspicious about flies and a smell coming from the house.
The jury saw pictures of the house with rubbish piled up and vodka bottles littering the kitchen surfaces.
In the fridge the police found only rotten food and ready meals five months past their sell by date, while the oven contained a slice of rotten pizza.
Hutton was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Friday by Judge Roger Thomas QC.