Rookie PCSO raised alarm of mummified baby in Bradford house, court told (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Rookie PCSO raised alarm of mummified baby in Bradford house, court told
The mummified body of a four-year-old boy was found in his mother’s bedroom after an inexperienced police community support officer noticed the “vile smell of filth” radiating from the house in Bradford, a court has been told.
Jodie Dunsmore, who is now a police officer, told a jury yesterday she knew “something was definitely not right” at Amanda Hutton’s house in September, 2011.
PC Dunsmore, who was called Worsley at the time, said she was only on her second day as a full PCSO when she began investigating a neighbour’s complaint about the house.
She told the jury how she went back again and again, over a number of days, to knock on the door but got no reply.
PC Dunsmore said she became even more suspicious when she noticed large quantities of flies on the window ledge and a terrible smell coming through the letter box.
She said that after at least five visits, she and a colleague threatened to kick in the door, despite having no such legal power as PCSOs.
The officer said that at that point Hutton opened the door.
PC Dunsmore said Hutton looked “dreadful”.
“Her hair was all matted and she was looking very unkempt,” she told the jury at Bradford Crown Court. “She had a woollen jumper on and it appeared flies were coming off her jumper.”
She said: “She looked like she was going to throw up. She had a look of fear on her face.”
The officer said Hutton would not let her in.
She said: “There was a vile smell of filth radiating from the door.
“I’d not even got to the end of the path before I’d rung social services. Something was definitely not right.”
The trial has heard how Hamzah Khan was found in a cot in Amanda Hutton’s bedroom later that day when police officers arrived.
He had been dead for almost two years.
Prosecutors have told jurors that Hamzah died because he was starved to death.
But Hutton, 43, who denies manslaughter, told police her son died of natural causes.
Earlier yesterday the jury was told by a then neighbour of Hutton that she was often drunk and tearful.
Christine Latz said said she got to know Hutton after she moved into her street in March, 2009.
She said the defendant talked to her about the abusive relationship she had moved away from.
Asked whether there was any “common feature” she noticed about Hutton, Mrs Latz said: “She just smelt of alcohol. She appeared to be drunk quite often, tearful.
“She told me she’d come out of an abusive relationship to make a fresh start down here.”
Virginia Whittaker told the jury she was a retired police domestic violence officer who had a lot of contact with Hutton because she said she was abused by her long-term partner – Hamzah’s father, Aftab Khan.
She said Hutton eventually received the highest level response from the multi-agency domestic violence team, including attempts to rehouse her.
But Miss Whittaker said Hutton was reluctant to engage with health visitors to help with this move because “she lost faith in the health service after her mum died”.
The former officer said her unit helped with fitting panic alarms and anti-arson letterboxes to Hutton’s house.
Maria Hodgson – a friend of Hutton’s family who knew her for more than 20 years – said the defendant changed after her mother died at the end of 2005.
Mrs Hodgson was asked about a phone call lasting more than 30 minutes between her and Hutton on December 14, 2009.
The jury has been told Hamzah died on December 15.
Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, asked Mrs Hodgson whether the defendant mentioned anything about Hamzah being ill during that conversation.
Mrs Hodgson said she did not.
Hutton, now of Farcliffe Road, Girlington, Bradford, yesterday sat in the dock dressed in a black cardigan, black top and black skirt, flanked by a woman security officer as she listened to the proceedings.
The trial continues.