Leeds & West Yorkshire

Hamzah Khan father criticises authorities over boy's death

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Media captionHamzah's father, Aftab Khan: "Nobody would listen to me"

The death of a four-year-old boy starved by his alcoholic mother could have been prevented if authorities had heeded warnings, his father has said.

Aftab Khan said he was ignored when he asked the authorities to check the condition of his son, Hamzah, who lived with his partner Amanda Hutton.

The boy's remains were found in a cot in her bedroom two years after he died of severe malnutrition.

Hutton, 43, was earlier jailed for 15 years for manslaughter.

Mr Khan said West Yorkshire Police and social services in Bradford "pushed [him] to one side".

"If once they had believed me and gone to check the children, Hamzah would have been alive," he said.

'No evidence'

Mr Khan told the jury during Hutton's trial that he had contacted Bradford social services once about the condition of Hamzah, but he was ignored.

He told the court he had separated from Ms Hutton after he was charged with assaulting her.

The jury heard he was initially stopped from visiting his former partner due to a court order, but he did start to go and see his son when they moved to a new home in Bradford in March 2009.

Details of a police interview conducted with Mr Khan recorded a year before Hamzah's death in 2009 were read to the court.

Mr Khan, who had been arrested on suspicion of violence towards Ms Hutton, told officers: "You've got to keep an eye on that woman.

"All I want you to do is get a doctor to check Hamzah, check how undernourished he is, check how neglected he is, see how he is."

A force spokesman said: "The interviewing officers had seen the children in their home five days previously when attending the initial incident and there was nothing that caused them concern at the time.

"As with all incidents of domestic violence involving families with children, a notification was made to the social services department at Bradford Council.

"The father was advised that he could also make a referral to social services. There is no evidence that he made any such a referral."

Ralph Berry, Bradford Council's executive member for children's services, said a serious case review was examining the circumstances of Hamzah's death.

"Until the report is published, and we have some factual answers to questions, it is not possible for us, or anyone else, to make accurate comment," he said.

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