Father of child who lay dead in cot for two years 'rang social services about his welfare but was told it was a private matter'

By Sofia Munez 0

  • Aftab Khan said he confronted Amanda Hutton over Hamzah Khan
  • He said he contacted social services once about Hamzah but was ignored
  • Mr Khan denied claims in court he was a 'wife batterer'
  • Court hears the four-year-old 'looked like a baby' and was 'very light'

By James Rush

PUBLISHED: 04:06 EST, 24 September 2013 | UPDATED: 04:26 EST, 24 September 2013

The father of a four-year-old boy allegedly starved to death by his mother has told a court he contacted social services about his son but was told it was a 'private matter'.

Aftab Khan told Bradford Crown Court he confronted Amanda Hutton about how she was looking after Hamzah Khan.

But he said she told him to mind his own business and banned him from the house less than a year before the little boy died in December 2009.

Aftab Khan (left) told Bradford Crown Court how he confronted Amanda Hutton (right) about how she was looking after Hamzah Khan

Mr Khan was giving evidence at the trial of Hutton, who is accused of the manslaughter of her son.

The jury has been told Hamzah's mummified body was discovered in a cot in Hutton's Bradford home in September 2011.

The jury heard last week that during a police interview in December 2008 when Aftab was arrested by police for hitting Hutton, he urged police to check on Hamzah as he was 'undernourished' and 'neglected'.

From the witness box, Mr Khan told the court yesterday that he rang social services after threatening to do so in the police interview - but was told it was a 'private matter'.

He said: 'I do remember ringing them once in about December or January of 2008. They said it was a private matter.

'They weren't bothered. Social services are never bothered in cases like these. I'd given up at that time.'

The court has heard Hamzah Khan's mummified body was discovered in a cot in Hutton's Bradford home in September 2011

The court has heard Hamzah Khan's mummified body was discovered in a cot in Hutton's Bradford home in September 2011

A senior police officer told the court there was no record he ever made the call.

Prosecutor Paul Greaney QC also asked Mr Khan about urging police to 'go and check' on Hamzah.

'Yes, so they could see the neglect for themselves,' he answered.

He told the court that the house 'stank of poo' as Hamzah's nappy had not been changed, and that Hutton fed him only milk.

'She wasn't bathing him, she wasn't changing him,' he added.

Mr Khan also told how Hutton drank vodka and cider.

'As a result of it, at times it was really bad. She was absolutely out of it,' he said.

Mr Khan was giving evidence at Bradford Crown Court (pictured) at the trial of Hutton, who is accused of the manslaughter of her son

Mr Khan was giving evidence at Bradford Crown Court (pictured) at the trial of Hutton, who is accused of the manslaughter of her son

After the domestic incident in December 2008 - to which he later pleaded guilty to a charge of battery against Hutton and was sentenced to a community order in June 2009 - Mr Khan's bail conditions meant he was not allowed back at the house.

Subsequently, there was a court order banning him from seeing Hutton or Hamzah.

The court heard Mr Khan only saw Hamzah once more - when he said he 'didn't look right'.

'But [Hutton] told me to get out and never come back, and I wasn't allowed to see him again after that,' Mr Khan told the court.

Asked by Mr Greaney about what he saw that day, he said: 'It was the state of Hamzah. He was in baby grows, not getting changed appropriately and stuff like that.'

'They weren't bothered. Social services are never bothered in cases like these. I'd given up at that time' 

- Aftab Khan 

Mr Greaney also asked mechanic and taxi driver Mr Khan about a text message he sent to Hutton which read: 'Don't worry it's not me who's going to land you in the s***, you're going to do that yourself. You've turned into the biggest liar, stop drinking.'

The text also asked what Hamzah had 'had' and added: 'Think about what you're doing to everybody.'

Mr Greaney asked him: 'What do you mean by "had"?'

Mr Khan answered: 'I meant what food, had he been fed properly?'

Mr Khan told the court that it was his concerns about his son that had led to the arguments resulting in his arrest in 2008 and eventual conviction for battery.

Hutton, who denies manslaughter, sat in the dock dressed in black, watching Mr Khan give his evidence.

Mr Khan rejected claims in court that he was a 'wife batterer'.

Mr Khan said he was initially stopped from visiting Hutton (pictured) due to a court order but did start to go and see his son when they moved to a new home in Bradford in March 2009

Mr Khan said he was initially stopped from visiting Hutton (pictured) due to a court order but did start to go and see his son when they moved to a new home in Bradford in March 2009

Stephen Meadowcroft QC, defending, asked him: 'You were a wife batterer and she was a battered wife, cowed by your violence.'

Mr Khan said: 'If I was a wife batterer why am I not standing next to her (Hutton)?'

Mr Meadowcroft replied: 'Perhaps you ought to be.'

The defence barrister put it to Mr Khan that he had been violent towards his client throughout their 20-year relationship, but he denied this.

'I've come here to answer questions about my child,' he said.

'Everyone knows what happened. You've got damning evidence against Miss Hutton but you're still trying to point the finger at me. I'm not having it.'

Mr Khan repeatedly insisted that he tried to alert police and social services to his son's plight but was not listened to.

He said: 'A year down the line, what happened? A child died.'

Mr Khan was asked again about the call he said he made to social services.

He said: 'This country is run for women. A man's got no rights in this country.'

Mr Meadowcroft told him: 'You were the father of the family. You were there. Had you actually thought that (Hamzah's neglect)? What did you do about it?'

Mr Khan told the court: 'The police wouldn't believe me. No one would believe me.

'I know I made one phone call. If the police weren't going to believe me, who else is going to believe me? I gave up.

'The system failed my son. Did the school check up? Did social services check up? I lost my total confidence in the system.'

Mr Khan said he even helped Hutton before the court case, giving her money to buy clothes for the trial.

'I've helped her a lot. If I was a violent man, I wouldn't have helped.'

Mr Khan (pictured) rejected claims in court that he was a 'wife batterer'

Mr Khan (pictured) rejected claims in court that he was a 'wife batterer'

He told the court: 'She's done it all. Put me on one side. You've got so much evidence against her it's unbelievable.'

Deepinder Kaur told the court Hamzah was small and did not eat very much in the months before his death.

Miss Kaur, 24, a former girlfriend of Hutton's son Qaiser, 22, said the boy would eat half a cheese and onion pasty in the evening and half a banana in the morning.

She said that during the day he would eat 'biscuits or whatever's lying around'.

Miss Kaur said that despite being nearly four at the time, in February 2009, 'he looked like a baby' and would often wear a baby-gro.

'He was very light,' she said. 'He didn't weigh much.'

Asked where Hamzah spent his days, Miss Kaur said he was either in front of the TV in the living room or locked in a bedroom with the light turned off.

Asked whether Hutton explained why he was locked upstairs, she said: 'She said it was because he'd been naughty. But she didn't say exactly what he'd done.'

Pc Maria Furness, of West Yorkshire Police, told the jury she attended Hutton's house to perform a welfare check but found Hamzah to be 'fed well, clean, healthy looking and there was an appropriate adult in the address'.

The officer said that appropriate adult was Tariq, Hamzah's brother, who told her he was his uncle.

Pc Furness said she was at the house for about 30 to 45 minutes when she made the visit about eight months before Hamzah's death.

Hutton denies manslaughter. The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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