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Hamzah Khan’s body is released to family for funeral
The funeral of the tragic four-year-old boy who lay dead in his cot for 21 months after being starved to death by his mother can now go ahead.
Yesterday, Bradford’s Acting Coroner, Professor Paul Marks, opened and closed the inquest into the little boy, whose mother Amanda Hutton was jailed for 15 years this month after she was found guilty by a jury at Bradford Crown Court of the manslaughter of Hamzah Khan and of the neglect of five more of her children.
Hamzah’s mummified body was discovered in a travel cot in his mother’s bedroom by police in September 2011 – almost two years after he died.
Yesterday’s inquest in Bradford meant that Hamzah’s body could be released for burial to his father Aftab Khan, who was at the inquest along with officers who carried out the investigation.
Detective Inspector Ian Lawrie, from West Yorkshire’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, told the inquest how officers had discovered Hutton’s home in a terrible condition when they were called to the house.
Det Insp Lawrie had told how concerns were raised about the state of the home by neighbours.
“They found Amanda Hutton living in an appalling and disgusting state in the house which was knee-deep in food, excrement and rubbish,” he said.
“Following the search of the premises, police later discovered the mummified remains of Hamzah Khan in the bedroom in a baby grow designed for a baby six to nine months old.
“The investigation established evidence that on December 15, 2009, Hamzah died when he was four and a half years old. He had lain in his cot for 21 months prior to his discovery.
“During the trial, the jury heard evidence from Amanda’s former partner Aftab that Hamzah was fed less than the other children.
“We heard from expert medical witnesses about the lack of adequate diet and Amanda’s addiction to alcohol and failure to readily engage with other agencies.
“She did give evidence in her own defence where she said she was a victim of domestic violence and that she didn’t believe Hamzah was that poorly at the time of his death.
“But on October 3, following five hours of deliberations, she was found guilty of manslaughter of Hamzah by gross negligence.”
Prof Marks said: “This was a very distressing and tragic case.
“And in view of the fact that the criminal trial has ventilated all the material relevant to this case, my actions will consist of opening this inquest and I will also release the body to the next of kin, to father Aftab Khan with a funeral by burial.”
He said that the case did not have to be brought back to inquest because all relevant facts were already recorded.
Prof Marks passed his condolences to Mr Khan.
A serious case review, an independent investigation into Hamzah’s death, is continuing.