Teenage mum left toddler home alone 12 times before she was found starved to death

Teenage mum left toddler home alone 12 times before she was found starved to death

 

A teenage mum who left her daughter to starve to death while she went away for six days to celebrate her 18th birthday had left the tot alone 11 times before, it is claimed.

Verphy Kudi, now 19, admitted manslaughter at Lewes Crown Court last month after leaving of 20-month-old Asiah home alone in a supported housing block in Brighton.

She had been due to stand trial later this year before formally entered a guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter.

The court heard the aspiring model left the tot on her own to party in London, Coventry and Solihull, in the West Midlands, more than 150 miles away.

Kudi was living in Gocher Court which was accommodation for vulnerable families run by a charity commissioned by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Her family have questioned the level of support she was given there.

According to details outlined by the prosecution at a court hearing last year Kudi left her child unsupervised a dozen times, the Times reports.

The first time was less than two months before the toddler died in December 2019.

Sally Howes QC, for the prosecution, told a bail hearing for Kudi on October 23 last year at Hove Trial Centre that
there was no system to sign in or out of Gocher Court.

She said on the first occasion Kudi left her daughter alone in mid-October it would have been clear to staff that the baby was unsupervised and she was “spoken to”.

The QC continued that there were then 11 further occasions when little Asiah had been left unsupervised which is understood to include when the tot died.

It is now claimed the prosecution classes seven of the incidents as being particularly serious including the final time Asiah was left home alone.

On December 5, 2019 – Kudi’s 18th birthday – she was spotted on CCTV leaving Gocher Court which is run by the YMCA DownsLink Group.

She returned home on December 11 and found her daughter dead.

A post mortem examination found Asiah died of neglect.

Kudi is due to be sentenced on May 28.

Judge Christine Laing QC ordered that all social services records relating to the case be disclosed to the defence ahead of sentencing.

The YMCA group told the Times that there were “aware of a safeguarding incident” involving Kudi in mid-October 2019 and social services were informed but they unaware of other incidents.

The charity added: “Families living at these flats live independently and are free to come and go without being monitored. Staff are available during the day, to offer housing-related support and one/two hours of planned key-work sessions each week.

“CCTV footage is not used for live monitoring. It is there to provide security and as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour. The police investigation after Asiah’s death brought these possible further instances to light.”

Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership has begun a practice review.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council previously said Kudi was not involved with social services but the local authority will work with the partnership in its review and “taking learning” from it.

Senior Investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Wolstenholme, said: “This was a particularly distressing case for my team and me to investigate, and has caused great sorrow amongst Verphy’s family and the many agencies that have supported Verphy and Asiah.”

The Mirror has contacted the YMCA group for a comment.

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