Mum accused of starving her four-year-old son to death 'smelt of alcohol and was often drunk', neighbour tells court (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Amanda Hutton trial latest: Neighbour of mum accused of manslaughter of son, Hamzah Khan, gives evidence
A woman from Bradford accused of starving her four-year-old son to death smelt of alcohol and was often drunk and tearful, a neighbour has told a jury.
Christine Latz said she lived next door to Amanda Hutton, who is accused of the manslaughter of Hamzah Khan.
Hamzah's mummified body was found in a cot in Hutton's bedroom almost two years after he died in December 2009.
Mrs Latz said she got to know Hutton after she moved into her street, in Bradford, 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."
Prosecutors have told Bradford Crown Court that Hamzah died because he was starved to death. But Hutton told police her son died of natural causes.
Hutton, 43, denies manslaughter. She sat in the dock dressed in a black cardigan, black top and black skirt, flanked by a woman security officer.
Page 2 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 Ms 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.