Mother force-fed baby to death

2011-10-12 21:59

London - A nurse faces jail after killing her baby by force-feeding in the first case of its kind in Britain.

Gloria Dwomoh was found guilty at London's Old Bailey central criminal court on Wednesday of causing or allowing the death of her 10-month-old daughter Diamond.

She was said to be obsessed with the child's weight and poured liquidised food into her mouth when she was weaning her.

The baby died in March last year after being taken to a hospital near her home in Waltham Forest, east London, the Press Association reported.

A post-mortem examination found the child died from pneumonia caused by food, including meat and cereals, in her lungs.

Social workers and health professionals apologised for not saving the baby, the latest in a line of children let down by carers.

They said an investigation was being launched into feeding methods used by mothers, particularly those from cultures where bigger babies are considered to be healthier.

Dwomoh, who worked at St Thomas' Hospital in south London, had wept in court as she denied doing anything to harm her baby.

Cups

She said she and her siblings had been fed the same way by her mother in Ghana when she was weaning them onto solid food.

Dwomoh, 31, showed the jury two small china jugs, the size of cups, which she used for feeding.

In one jug she had made up feeds, including liquidised chicken soup, and then transferred small amounts into the other to give to her daughter.

However, the food had "gone down the wrong way" over months after the child had begun coughing and choking, prosecutor Andrew Edis said.

"This is a very sad case. She died because of the method by which her parents chose to feed her at the time she was being introduced to solid food.

"The allegation is one of force-feeding. If you have a child who is distressed and choking, you do not carry on," he added.

Waltham Forest safeguarding children's board chair Laura Eades said care workers were determined to learn from the tragedy.

"Had best practice been followed, the risk to Diamond of force-feeding would have been better recognised and the family would have been offered further support and intervention," she said.

"The death of a child by force-feeding is extremely rare. To our knowledge, this case is the first of its kind in this country," she added.

Read more on:    uk  |  child abuse
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