Hamzah Khan death: Boy's medical records a 'blank page'
- 27 September 2013
- From the section Leeds & West Yorkshire
Social workers and medics knew nothing of the life of a boy who allegedly starved to death, as his mother did not co-operate with services, a jury heard.
Four-year-old Hamzah Khan's mummified body was found in his cot at his home in Bradford in September 2011, almost two years after he died.
His mother Amanda Hutton has admitted child neglect but denies manslaughter.
Bradford Crown Court heard Hamza was not seen by a GP after his birth and medical records showed a "blank page".
Hutton, 43, who drank heavily and suffered domestic violence from her husband Aftab Khan, consistently failed to keep doctors appointments, failed to get him immunised and slammed the door in the face of repeated calls from health visitors, the jury heard.
Paediatrician Dr Kathryn Ward said records showed that after Hamzah's birth in June 2007, he was only seen once by a midwife and once by a social worker in the three years before he died, when he appeared "well cared for and well dressed".
She said: "From two weeks of age, we know nothing about this child.
"His personal development, behaviour, his personality or general health.
"It's a blank page.
"The picture of non-engagement and failure to respond to professionals from a variety of areas is a matter of great concern."
The court heard police were called a number of times to Hutton's home, starting in 2006, to rows and fights with her husband.
'Puffed up' eye
After Hamzah was born health visitors repeatedly called but failed to get into the house.
On one occasion Hutton, who opened the door wearing just a towel, "was perceived to be hostile, said she was busy and slammed the door", said Dr Ward.
When the defendant failed to register the birth, she was visited by the registrar and was seen to have a "puffed up" eye injury and smelt of alcohol, the jury heard.
Dr Ward said meetings were called about the situation, involving police, council and health authorities.
But by October 2009 after repeated failed appointments, Hutton's GP surgery removed the mother and child from patient lists, in line with normal practice.
Dr Ward told the court there was a picture of "gross negligence and non-engagement with professionals" which "provides evidence of neglect of the child's health and emotional needs".
When asked her opinion on the cause of death, the doctor said it was complicated due to lack of medical records and the length of time after death when the body was found.
But she said: "I have no doubt that malnutrition was a significant factor and indeed the root cause of the child's death."
Earlier, it emerged in court that Hutton admitted child neglect in July.
Her son Tariq Khan, 24, also pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and proper burial of Hamzah's corpse.
The trial continues.