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'Hamzah Khan had brittle bone disease'
7:00am Friday 27th September 2013 in News
A four-year-old boy who lay dead in his cot for almost two years had brittle bone disease caused by malnutrition, a jury heard yesterday.
Home Office pathologist Dr Matthew Lyall told Bradford Crown Court Hamzah Khan’s growth was stunted and his thinning of the bones was present in life.
Dr Lyall was giving evidence from a team of medical experts called in after Hamzah’s mummified body was found in a travel cot in his mother Amanda Hutton’s bedroom.
He saw Hamzah’s body in the Bradford house on September 22, 2011, the day after it was discovered.
Dr Lyall said Hamzah’s body was beneath a duvet and a scenes of crime officer uncovered it.
“He was lying supine on his back and was accompanied by a soft toy, which his right arm was encircling.
“He was clearly severely decomposed and in a condition which we refer to as mummified,” Dr Lyall said.
Hutton, 43, now of Farcliffe Road, Girlington, Bradford, denies Hamzah’s manslaughter.
Wearing a black cardigan and a white shirt, she wept in the dock while listening to Dr Lyall’s evidence.
He said there was “abundant insect and fly material” about.
Hamzah, who was four-and-a-half when he died on December 15, 2009, was clothed in a blue baby-gro for a baby aged six to nine months.
He was also wearing a green T-shirt for a child aged three to four.
“That was clearly too large, much too large,” said the doctor.
The skin of his face was rigid and leathery and there was mould on the body.
Hamzah had no fractures and there were no signs of trauma to his head and neck.
His body weighed 1,950 grammes (4lb 5oz) but Dr Lyall said it would have shrunk after death.
There were fly eggs on his hands and head and maggots and insects on the duvet.
Dr Lyall said it was not possible to give a cause of death because of the state of the body.
A bone specialist found that the little boy had brittle bone disease caused by malnutrition.
Other tests showed he was deficient in elements commonly found in cereals, meat, fish and offal.
The jury heard Hamzah’s bones were more like that of a child aged between 12 and 18 months and this showed “extreme stunting of growth.”
In Dr Lyall’s assessment, Hamzah was suffering malnutrition and this could have contributed “wholly or in part to his death.”
He said: “Irrespective of the cause of malnutrition, I would expect a competent parent to recognise that there was severe growth retardation evident in this young child and to seek medical assistance.”
The trial continues.