Mother who left 20-month-old daughter alone for six days admits manslaughter

Posted On 26 Mar 2021 at 10:23 am

Verphy Kudi with Asiah on the tot’s first birthday in March last year

A young mother has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after leaving her one-year-old daughter alone for six days.

Verphy Kudi was caught on CCTV leaving her flat in Islingword Road, Brighton, on December 5, 2019 – her 18th birthday.

She was living in supported housing for young families at Gochers Court, run by YMCA DownsLink on behalf of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Almost a week later, she returned but 20-month-old Asiah had since died of neglect.

Today, Kudi appeared at Lewes Crown Court where she admitted the single charge of manslaughter.

Wearing black, she spoke only to confirm her name and to enter the guilty plea.

No more details of how the little girl came to be left alone for so long were disclosed at today’s hearing.

A safeguarding review has been launched by Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) and is still ongoing.

Today, YMCA Downslink said: “This tragedy has shocked us all. Our staff, particularly those who work at Gocher Court, have been and continue to be, deeply affected by it.

“Verphy Kudi and her daughter, Asiah had been living at Gocher Court, independent living flats, for 11 weeks, when Asiah died.

“We will be working with the Safeguarding Practice Review to understand any lessons that can be learned from this tragedy.

“Our sympathies and thoughts are with the family and everyone affected by this tragic event.”

The prosecution, authorised by the CPS, followed an investigation by detectives from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team.

Senior Investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Wolstenholme, said today: “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.

“We note the guilty plea entered in this case, and continue to prepare for Verphy’s sentencing in May.”

A council spokesman said: “We have been deeply saddened by this tragedy.

“The case is currently the subject of criminal proceedings, and the city’s Safeguarding Children Partnership is also conducting a review of the circumstances in to the tragic death of this young child.

“We are undertaking an internal review, which will feed into the partnership review.

“We have fully supported the police investigation, and are committed to working with the Partnership in its review and taking learning from this.

“Asiah was not on a child protection plan and was not involved with social work services when she died.

“It would not be appropriate for us to comment further while the criminal proceedings and reviews are ongoing.”

A sentencing hearing has now been provisionally scheduled for May 28, to give Kudi’s defence time to commission psychiatric reports.

Kudi, who has been in prison since being charged in October last year, was again remanded in custody.

Before she became pregnant, Kudi had been the subject of three missing persons appeals by Sussex Police, the first of which was issued when she was 14.

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