A mother has been found guilty of killing her four-year-old son, who was starved to death and whose mummified body was found in a cot in her bedroom.
Hamzah Khan was found to have died due to severe malnutrition and his remains were found while police were searching the house in September 2011 in squalid conditions.
In a case which has shocked the United Kingdom, court heard how Hamzah’s body was decomposed and insect-infested and had been in the cot for two years.
Amanda Hutton, 43, of Bradford in the United Kingdom, was convicted of manslaughter after a two-week trial. She is yet to be sentenced.
Hamzah had a ‘grossly inadequate’ diet, the jury heard, and was found wearing a six-to-nine month-old baby grow when he died.
The house in which Hamzah’s body was found – and where five other siblings lived – was found to be piled high with rubbish and facts surrounding the case were so shocking at one point the original jury were discharged as one juror was overwhelmed by emotion.
Ms Hutton had denied manslaughter and said she struggled to get her son to eat properly. But jurors deliberated that Hamzah had probably died from malnutrition due to neglect from his alcoholic mother, who instead focused on her addiction. She also continued to claim child benefit, but insisted this was to prevent authourities finding out the truth and taking her other children away.
“It was a truly tragic case,” said Malcolm Taylor, from the Crown Prosecution Service.
“It is heart-breaking to contemplate the suffering Hamzah must have endured.
“This horrific crime was compounded by the failure of either Amanda Hutton or Tariq Khan [her son] to arrange the burial of Hamzah’s body.”
Detective Lisa Griffin, from West Yorkshire Police, told the BBC it was the worst case she had seen in 28 years with the force.
“She [Ms Hutton] was obstructive, she was difficult and she failed in her ability to parent that child, to look after his basic needs, and sadly he died in the most difficult of circumstances.
"I can only imagine the pain and the suffering that that child endured.”
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