A NURSE has been jailed for three years for killing her baby by force-feeding her – the first case of its kind in Britain.
Gloria Dwomoh, 31, was found guilty at the Old Bailey last month of causing or allowing the death of 10-month-old Diamond.
She was said to be obsessed with Diamond’s weight and poured liquidised food down her throat with a jug when weaning her.
Diamond died in March last year after being taken to a hospital near her home in Waltham Forest, east London.
A post-mortem examination found she died from pneumonia caused by food, including meat and cereals, in her lungs.
The prosecution said Diamond was forced to take her feed from the jug after the spout was placed in her mouth.
Trevor Burke QC, for Dwomoh, said: “She has endured the loss of her child for over a year. She has been punished enough.”
He presented the court with a 1,000-signature petition from family and friends pleading for mercy, and asked the judge to impose a suspended sentence.
But the Common Serjeant of London Judge Brian Barker described Dwomoh’s actions as a “misguided obsession”.
Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said food had “gone down the wrong way” over months after the child began coughing and choking.
“The allegation is one of force-feeding. If you have a child who is distressed and choking, you do not carry on.
“An ordinary mother would think twice or more before using a jug to pour food into the mouth of a child.”
Dwomoh was warned in the past about the feeding method but Diamond, although taken to see doctors, was not on the “at risk” register.
Social workers and health professionals apologised for not saving Diamond, the latest in a line of children which have let down by professional carers.
A serious case review reported 18 key findings, including the lack of understanding on the issues which should have caused alarm bells to ring.
Laura Eades, chair of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children’s Board, said: “I would like to express our deep regret and sadness for the death of Diamond.
“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 and we are determined to learn from the issues that were central to this tragic loss of life.
“The serious case review has found that there were weaknesses and shortcomings in the practice of some of the agencies involved with the family.
“As a result of this review, action is being taken on the areas where practice has been identified as needing improvement.
“We are also taking steps to ensure that there is better information nationally available about this rare risk to children.”