Parenting

Toddler who starved to death while mum partied was left home alone 11 times before


Verphy Kudi came home six days later and found her daughter dead (Picture: Eddie Mitchell/Facebook)

A mum who let her infant daughter starve to death while she celebrated her 18th birthday had left her unsupervised 11 times before it has been reported.

Verphy Kudi spent six days partying in December 2019, leaving 20-month-old Asiah Kudi completely helpless inside a supported housing block in Brighton.

She pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Lewes Crown Court last month and is due to be sentenced in May.

The prosecution told how Kudi, now 19, left Asiah unsupervised 12 times between October 23 and the girl’s death both for short and long periods.

Now her ‘heartbroken’ family are questioning the level of support provided at Gocher Court — charity run accommodation commissioned by Brighton and Hove city council for vulnerable families.

The court heard how there was no system for Kudi to sign in or out as came and went from the block.

Staff at the centre were ‘aware of a safeguarding incident’ involving the mother in mid-October 2019, the YMCA group confirmed.

A post-mortem report found that Asiah Kudi had died of neglect
Kudi, now 19, didn’t have to sign in or out of her supported accommodation, the court heard

The charity said the matter ‘was referred to the relevant authorities at the time’ but declined to give more details.

It said staff were not aware of the other occasions Kudi was said to have left Asiah alone.

The charity added: ‘The flats at Gocher Court are self-contained and are rented on a private tenancy basis.

‘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.’

Kudi pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is due to be sentenced next month (Picture: Eddie Mitchell)
The family said they were ‘broken’ by Asiah‘s death and say the charity never contacted them about the child being left alone previously

In a previous statement, the YMCA group said: ‘Verphy had made staff aware that she was going to be away to celebrate her 18th birthday with friends and family.

‘Tragically, there was nothing to alert either staff or other residents that Verphy Kudi had left Asiah in the flat alone.’

A relative of Kudi said no one in the family had been contacted by the charity about the issue.

Speaking after the heading, Asiah’s grandfather, Muba Kudi, 59, said: ‘My heart is so broken. My daughter was missing. She had been missing since the age of 14.’

The defendant’s sister Aisha Batrane added: ‘This whole situation has completely broken my family. It might be entertainment for the rest of the world but it’s totally shattered us.’

Following the tragedy Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership — an association of the NHS, police and council services — has launched a practice review.

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