London

London parents 'force-fed baby until death'

  • 22 September 2011
  • From the section London

The parents of a 10-month-old girl used a jug to force-feed her until she died, the Old Bailey has heard.

The baby was made to take solid foods, including meat and cereals, through a spout probably for months until her death in March 2010, jurors heard.

She collapsed and died from pneumonia caused by her airways being filled.

Her mother, 31, and father, 37, who lived in east London and cannot be named, deny allowing or causing the girl's death through force-feeding.

'Distressed and choking'

The court heard the girl's mother was a nurse and her parents had been giving her solids from the age of six months.

They also have three other children who had all displayed signs of inappropriate feeding and had been warned about the dangers of force feeding, jurors heard.

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said: "This is a very sad case. She died because of the method by which her parents chose to feed her at the time she was being introduced to solid food.

"The allegation is one of force-feeding. If you have a child who is distressed and choking, you do not carry on."

Jurors were told the child was given no choice and the food had overflowed into her lungs.

Mr Edis said: "It involved the use of jugs - pouring food into the mouth of the child.

"The spout was placed into the mouth of the child to prevent her closing it when she did not want any more - to prevent her having any choice."

He said, being a nurse, the mother would have "a degree of extra insight".

"An ordinary mother would think twice or more before using a jug to pour food into the mouth of a child," he added.

The trial was adjourned until Friday.

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