‘Tell, and I’ll kill them all’ said Hamzah’s cruel mum

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AN alcoholic mother-of-eight who starved her four-year-old son to death told his older brother not to tell or she would kill the other children, a judge who jailed her for 15 years was told.

AN alcoholic mother-of-eight who starved her four-year-old son to death told his older brother not to tell or she would kill the other children, a judge who jailed her for 15 years was told.

Jailed: Cruel mum Amanda Hutton. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Jailed: Cruel mum Amanda Hutton. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Hamzah Khan’s brother told officials how she held a knife to one of her children’s throats just two days after the youngster perished at her Bradford home and threatened to burn the house down.

The revelations came in court as Amanda Hutton, 43, was sentenced after being found guilty of the manslaughter of her son and stopping the authorities from discovering his body for 21 months.

She had also admitted neglecting five of her other children, who were aged between five and 13 in September 2011 when Hamzah’s mummified remains were found beneath a pile of clothing and shoes and amid scenes of “breathtakingly awful” squalor.

Bradford Council has carried out a serious case review into the tragedy, to find out whether the main agencies could have spotted what was happening at the property in the Heaton area.

Hamzah Khan

Hamzah Khan

But Bradford MP David Ward, a member of the Education Select Committee which last year published a report on protecting children, yesterday described Hamzah’s death in December 2009 as “a failure of the system as a whole”.

Hutton’s son Tariq Khan was given a two-year suspended jail sentence yesterday after admitting a charge of preventing the lawful burial of his young brother.

A police interview he gave was read out at Bradford Crown Court, where the pair were being sentenced by Judge Roger Thomas QC.

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said Tariq, now 24, told police “if he said anything, she would kill the rest of the children”. He also told probation officers how his mother held a knife to the throat of one of them two days after Hamzah’s death and threatened to burn down the house if he revealed what had happened.

It also emerged that one of Hutton’s neighbours discussed how she had alerted social services to her concerns about the family in March 2011, six months before Hamzah’s body was found, telling a friend in a text message “better to be safe than sorry”.

Judge Thomas sentenced Hutton to 12 years in prison for manslaughter and gave her a three-year sentence for child cruelty, after hearing of the conditions of her other children who had head lice, “ingrained dirt” and bruising. She will serve two-and-a-half years concurrently for preventing the lawful burial of Hamzah.

The judge said it was “as bad a case of unlawful killing of a child by a parent as it is possible to imagine” and described the squalor in which her family had lived as “breathtakingly awful”.

He told her it “beggars belief” a child could starve in 21st century Britain but added it came “through your purposeful, persistent and gross conduct in failing in that most basic and fundamental requirement that is upon every parent, to feed her child adequately”.

“For whatever irrational reason, you took against Hamzah from an early age – perhaps, in fact, from the very day of his birth,” he said. “The most telling and awful fact in this case that speaks volumes about how you starved Hamzah is that when his mummified remains were found, he was comfortably clothed in a baby-gro which was designed for a six to nine-month-old child.”

Having previously leaned over to stare at her son Tariq as he wept in the dock, Hutton showed no emotion as she was led from the court.

Questions over the extent to which agencies were involved with the family has blown up into a political row after Bradford’s director of children’s services emailed local MPs yesterday to say “there was limited involvement...as mum did not want to take up offers of help and no serious concerns were reported to the statutory agencies”.

Bradford West MP George Galloway said Kath Tunstall’s comments were “a clear attempt to pre-empt” the upcoming serious case review, claims Ralph Berry, the council’s executive member for children’s services, described as “ridiculous”.