03/10/2013 15:17 BST | Updated 03/10/2013 16:01 BST

Amanda Hutton Found Guilty Of Starving Son To Death And Keeping 'Mummified' Body For Two Years


Amanda Hutton has been found guilty of the manslaughter of her four-year-old son, keeping his mummified corpse in a cot in her bedroom for almost two years.

In horrific scenes described as disturbing "even hardened officers," Hamzah Khan's body was found still dressed in a baby-gro when police made the "dreadful discovery" at his house in Bradford, West Yorkshire in September 2011.

The mother-of-eight showed no emotion as she was convicted of manslaughter by a jury at Bradford Crown Court today.

amanda hutton

The mummified corpse of the four-year-old boy was found in a cot in his mother's bedroom

Police officers called to numerous domestic violence incidents at Hutton's home never saw anything to concern them about Hamzah and always kept social services informed, the senior detective who led the investigation said.

Detective Superintendent Lisa Griffin, of West Yorkshire Police, said the "heart-breaking" case was the worst she had seen during 28 years in the police service.

She said she had never seen such "appalling" conditions as those inside the house in Bradford when the body of four-year-old Hamzah was discovered.

Ms Griffin confirmed that, in the years before Hamzah's death, officers supported Hutton through her problems with her violent partner, Aftab Khan.

Other children in the house said Hutton vomited regularly and could not walk properly because of her alcohol consumption.

"She drank more vodka than water," one youngster said.

Hutton's continuing alcohol problems were highlighted during the trial when, on the day her defence was due to begin, she was too drunk to give evidence after the police delivered her to court.

During the trial, one of the first police officers who went into the house, Pc Jane Lax, said she was "overcome by emotion" by some of the things she saw, including the sight of two children dressed only in dirty nappies crawling up the stairs towards her.

Pc Lax also recalled finding it difficult to cope with the sight of one child the house on their knees, rummaging through piles of rotting debris in a bedroom, preparing to leave the house with the officers.

She said there were emotional scenes when the remaining children were removed from the property. She said she remembered one giving Hutton a hug as she sat on her bed.

Another of Hamzah's siblings told police about trying to give Hamzah mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to keep him alive.

The little boy died when he was four-and-a-half years old on December 15 2009, but the court heard how his remains were found 21 months later in clothing intended for a baby aged six to nine months – clothes that fitted his tiny body.

"Hamzah's growth had been stunted," Paul Greaney QC said, when opening the case for the prosecution.

"It had been stunted because he was malnourished over a lengthy period and that state of affairs resulted in his death.

"In short, he starved to death," he said. "How had a child starved to death in 21st century England?"

Details of how Hamzah's body was found in September 2011 were outlined when his mother Amanda Hutton went on trial at Bradford Crown Court today. The 43-year-old denies her son's manslaughter.

The court heard how the mother, an abuser of alcohol and cannabis, ordered pizza within hours of her son's death and continued to claim child benefit for him.

He said: "Amanda Hutton failed to provide her child with the nourishment that he needed to survive and, in so failing, she killed him."

Mr Greaney said Hamzah's body was found after police community support officer Jodie Worsley spoke to Hutton and became concerned about the smell coming from her house.

Eventually, more police arrived and went into the property.

"What they discovered disturbed even hardened officers," he said.

Describing the moment officers entered the room where the child's cot was kept Mr Greaney said the officers were faced with "conditions of squalor."

"Within that cot, beneath other items, he found the mummified corpse of a child."

Some neighbours told the jury of their shock when police came out of Hutton's house with children they never knew existed.


Hamzah Khan 'starved himself' his mother has told a court