Teen mum who left toddler to starve to death as she celebrated birthday jailed

A teen mother has been jailed after she abandoned her baby daughter for nearly six days while she partied in London and Coventry.

Verphy Kudi celebrated her 18th birthday during the days-long jaunt away from home, in which she attended a 1990s music concert in Elephant and Castle and even requested a DJ to announce her birthday, the court heard.

She did all of this while her 20-month-old daughter Asiah was alone in her flat in Brighton, over 50 miles away.

The little girl tragically died as a result of starvation and influenza after being left unattended for days on end, prosecutors told the court.

When Kudi finally returned to the flat on 11 December 2019, she called emergency services.

Upon arrival, paramedics found her "incoherent, distressed and distraught" and her daughter lying on the floor.

Now aged 19, Kudi – wearing a black jacket and a face mask – appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

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Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said CCTV covering Kudi's home showed that she had left Asiah alone in the flat for five days, 21 hours and 58 minutes.

Kudi left Brighton on 5 December and went to London, where she spent her birthday with her boyfriend.

Two days later, she stayed out until 4am at a concert in Elephant and Castle.

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On 9 December, she went to a birthday party in Coventry – 150 miles from where she had left her daughter in Brighton – before returning to London the next day and back to her flat on 11 December.

At 6.12pm that evening, ambulance staff arrived at the scene and Asiah was taken to the city's Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital.

She was confirmed dead on arrival.

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Peter Wilcock QC, defending Kudi, said it is "truly a tragic and devastating case".

He added: "She herself, the defendant, is both very young and we would submit very vulnerable."

Mr Wilcock referenced her young age at the time of the offence and her history of vulnerability, as well as the effects that any sentence will have on her.

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Sentencing Kudi, Judge Christine Laing QC said: "Asiah was alone in that flat for six days – less two hours – unable to do anything to draw attention to her plight.

"She was a helpless child and relied completely on you as her mother to provide for her needs.

"It is almost unbearable to contemplate her suffering in the final days of her life, suffering that she endured so that you could celebrate your birthday and the birthdays of your friends as a carefree teenager."

"It goes without saying that this is a particularly tragic case and it no doubt raises strong emotions in all who hear of it, but everyone should bear in mind that the charge I sentence you for is one of manslaughter, it being accepted that you did not intend to cause Asiah death nor to cause her really serious harm."'

Kudi stood motionless as she was jailed for nine years and taken away by court staff.

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