Amanda Hutton trial latest: Mum tells court how son she is accused of starving to death was a 'fussy eater' (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Four-year-old boy was a 'fussy eater', Bradford mum accused of starving him to death tells jury
A Bradford mother accused of starving her son to death today began giving evidence in her defence.
Dressed all in black and speaking softly to the jury, Amanda Hutton, 43, said that Hamzah Khan, whose mummified body was found in a cot in her bedroom two years after he died, was a very fussy eater when he was a baby.
Hutton has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Hamzah who died on December 15, 2009.
His body was found by the police at her Bradford home on September 21, 2011.
Hutton told Bradford Crown Court she met her former partner Aftab Khan, Hamzah’s father, when she was 15 or 16.
She said her mother was happy about the relationship but her father and brothers were not.
Their first son, Tariq Khan, was born followed by a second son called Qaiser. Both are now in their 20s.
Hutton told the jury of her relationship with Aftab Khan: “There were good times and there were bad times.”
She said he was being violent but she was ashamed to tell anyone about it.
She stayed with him because she loved him and she forgave him for the violence.
Hutton said Hamzah’s birth was “quite traumatic” and she saw a doctor four months later, in October 2005 suffering from depression.
But she said she was coping well with running the home.
Hutton said Hamzah was difficult to feed as a baby and she was devastated when her mother died in December 2005. They were very close and she was the one she turned to for advice.
In August 2006 she went to see a doctor suffering from depression. The following month she went again saying she was drinking two glasses of vodka a day and had “reached rock bottom”.
Hutton said Qaiser had been difficult to feed as a baby and had become thin but he filled out when he was five.
She said she did not feel she needed to take Hamzah to the doctor. He was still struggling to eat and was small in 2006 and 2007.
Hutton said that her relationship with Aftab Khan reached its worse stage in 2007 to 2008.
She found a new home in Bradford and moved out.
By then Hamzah was aged three-and-a-half and was still small and still had eating problems.
“I wasn’t worried because Qaiser had been the same and he had grown out of it and I thought he (Hamzah) would grow out of it,” she told the jury.
She denied that Aftab Khan had told her that Hamzah should see a doctor.
“I genuinely thought that as he got older he would grow out of it,” Hutton repeated to the jury.
She said that in March 2009 she moved with Hamzah to a bigger and better house in Bradford.
By this time Aftab Khan had been convicted of assaulting her and the relationship was over.
Hutton said Mr Khan completely changed after he was prosecuted as his behaviour to her was okay.
Before Hutton gave her evidence Paul Greaney QC, barrister for the Crown, told the court that after Hamzah’s body was discovered Hutton’s home was searched by the police.
The oven contained an old takeaway box with a rotting pizza slice in it and there was rotten food in the fridge, along with ready meals five months out of date.
There was mould on most of the food in the fridge and on the doors, rubbish piled on the floor and empty alcohol bottles on the unit.
Mr Greaney told the jury that Hutton was charged with Hamzah’s manslaughter on March 6 this year and she made no reply.
On July 24 this year Hutton, now of Farcliffe Road, Girlington, Bradford, pleaded guilty, along with her son Tariq Khan to preventing the lawful burial of a corpse.
The trial continues.