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"Root cause of Hamzah Khan's death was malnutrition"
7:00am Saturday 28th September 2013 in News
A paediatrician has told a court “the root cause” of four-year-old Hamzah Khan’s death was malnutrition.
Dr Kathryn Ward said Hamzah’s mother Amanda Hutton was grossly neglectful of him after his birth.
Hutton, 43, denies the manslaughter of Hamzah, who died on December 15, 2009, aged four-and-a-half.
His mummified body, dressed in a babygrow, was discovered in a cot at Hutton’s Bradford home on September 21, 2011.
The Crown accuse Hutton, now of Farcliffe Road, Girlington, Bradford, of starving Hamzah to death.
Dr Ward, a consultant paediatrician for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, told the jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday: “I have no doubt that malnutrition was a significant factor, indeed the root cause, of the child’s death.”
Dr Ward told the jury that Hutton slammed the door on a health worker, failed to get Hamzah inoculated and never took him to a doctor.
In the months after his birth, the health visitor made repeated attempts to get into Hutton’s house but failed.
She tried four times in October, 2005. On one occasion, the door was opened a crack. “The mother was hostile and in a towel and slammed the door,” Dr Ward said. After eight months, Hamzah was still not registered with a GP.
In August, 2006, Hutton had a puffed up eye and smelled of alcohol when another professional visited the house, the court was told.
“There were significant concerns about non-engagement with all health professionals,” Dr Ward said.
Well over a year after his birth, Hamzah was registered with a doctor but he never received any inoculations.
“He was at significant risk of serious diseases because he had not been protected against things,” Dr Ward told the jury.
By November, 2006, Hamzah was “off the radar completely.”
Hutton then saw a social worker who reported that he was well cared for and well dressed.
She was tearful and told the social worker “she had caught her on a bad day.”
In May, 2007, the GP practice suspended Hutton for non-attendance at appointments and, in October, 2009, she was removed from its list.
Dr Ward said taking a child off a GP list meant it could sink even further beneath the radar.
After Hamzah’s death, concerns were raised about the fact that he had not started school.
“From two weeks of age, we know nothing about this child, his growth, his behaviour, his personality, his general health. It is a blank page,” Dr Ward said.
She said Hutton had grossly neglected Hamzah’s needs in the weeks before his death.
“He was clearly deteriorating. He was no longer able to walk. He was refusing to eat. He was losing weight. One would expect a reasonable parent to seek medical help, whatever the cause of the malnutrition,” Dr Ward said.
Hutton will give evidence to the jury in her defence on Monday.
The trial continues.