The trial of Amanda Hutton opened in Court 3 at Bradford Crown Court yesterday as the prosecution outlined its case. Amanda Hutton was the mother of Hamzah Khan who died in December 2009. And his body was found in his cot two years later.
This case was reported by the BBC early evening news last night; in September 2011, police found the boy's emaciated, mummified body. Hutton - who was said to have worked as a care assistant in the past - had ordered a pizza within hours of the boy's death, and had continued to claim child benefit. This contains an eerie echo of the case of bit part soap actress Hazel Maddock
who concealed the death of her elderly mother from the authorities so that she could continue collecting her pension.
When Hutton appeared in court in May this year
charged with manslaughter, preventing the burial of her son's body, and benefit fraud, she was granted bail.
Her eldest son Tariq Khan was originally charged with her, but she is standing trial alone. Hutton is said to have had substance abuse issues - alcohol and cannabis - although it is not clear if there is any evidence or suggestion that she was mentally impaired.
This case is also reminiscent of that of Casey Anthony
, who was charged with capital murder, so was not granted bail.
The jury in the current case was asked "How had a child starved to death in 21st Century England?" Sadly, this kind of abuse is nothing new. The case of Daniel Pelka
, who was murdered in March last year by his mother and her lover, is still in the news. Those with longer memories will recall the cases of Victoria Climbie
, Jasmine Beckford
and Maria Caldwell