I held my dead Hamzah for hours, Bradford trial mother tells jury (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Trial mum breaks down in tears in the witness box as she speaks to jury
6:00am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
A Bradford mother on trial accused of starving her son to death broke down in tears in the witness box as she told the jury of the moment she saw he was dead.
Amanda Hutton, who was dressed all in black, said: “I rushed upstairs and found Hamzah had passed away. I checked all his pulse points and there was nothing.”
Giving evidence in her defence, Hutton, who denies Hamzah’s manslaughter through gross neglect, said she put her dead child on her shoulder. “I stayed in my bedroom all night with him. I held him for hours,” she told Bradford Crown Court yesterday. Hutton, 43, said she wanted to call the police when Hamzah died, aged four and a half, on December 15, 2009.
She said her son Tariq Khan, now 24, stopped her. The next day was a blur, she told Bradford Crown Court, adding: “I just did not know what to do.”
Asked by her barrister, Stephen Meadowcroft QC: “As the days went by, what were you thinking?” Hutton replied: “I just wanted someone to help with what had happened.”
The jury has heard that Hamzah lay dead in his cot for almost two years. His mummified body was discovered by a police officer looking round the stinking and rubbish-strewn house on September 21, 2011.
Earlier, Hutton told the jury Hamzah was a small baby and a fussy eater. He still had eating problems when he was three-and-a-half but she said her son, Qaiser, now 22, was thin at that age and he had put on weight when he was five.
“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 said.
Paul Greaney QC, barrister for the prosecution, said Hamzah was wearing a ‘babygro’ for a child aged six to nine months’ when he was found. “He was tiny. He was the size of a baby,” he said in cross-examination.
“He was a bit bigger than that,” Hutton replied.
Mr Greaney asked her: “Do you accept that he died because he was malnourished?”
Hutton replied: “I’m really not sure. I don’t think he did.”
Mr Greaney alleged Hutton had been “a nasty drunk” who failed to clean and feed Hamzah properly. “No,” replied Hutton.
Mr Greaney said that on the day before he died, Hamzah was very seriously ill.
Hutton replied: “It’s not the way that it was. I did not see him as being seriously ill. Just poorly.” She told the court Hamzah “perked up” on the morning he died. She went to Morrisons to consult a pharmacist but Tariq rang and said Hamzah’s eyes were rolling back in his head.
She did not call an ambulance when she got home because Hamzah had already died.
Asked why she concealed his body from the outside world, Hutton said: “I was still in shock. I didn’t know what to do. It was like a snowball that just keeps getting bigger.”
Mr Greaney said: “You have had a major drink problem for years and, for a substantial period before Hamzah died, drink was more important to you than his welfare.”
Hutton denied this, insisting she began drinking heavily only after Hamzah’s death.
Mr Greaney asked her: “Can’t you now just accept that through your terrible failures you killed that child; this case is as simple as that?” “No, I didn’t,” she responded. The jury was told that Hutton, now of Farcliffe Road, Girlington, Bradford, and her son Tariq Khan pleaded guilty in July to preventing the lawful burial of a corpse.
The trial continues.