A mother jailed after leaving her baby to starve while partying for six days has objected to the involvement of the girl’s father in the inquest.
Asiah Kudi, aged 20 months, died after her mother Verphy Kudi left home alone in a flat in Brighton as she went to celebrate her 18th birthday.
Kudi, now 20, returned to the flat five days, 21 hours and 58 minutes later to find Asiah dead in her bed.
Asiah, who was suffering from flu, died in December 2019 from dehydration and starvation.
Kudi was sentenced to nine years in prison in August 2021 after admitting one count of manslaughter in Lewes Crown Court, with Judge Christine Laing saying Asiah had suffered “almost unimaginable suffering”.
Today, Kudi objected to the baby’s father, whose identity is unknown, having a voice at the hearing on Asiah’s death.
At a hearing ahead of the inquest, coroner Penelope Schofield said the unidentified father could be named as an interested person at the upcoming inquest.
But Kudi representative Philip Dayle said she objected to him having anything to do with the inquest.
Verphy Kudi was sentenced to nine years in prison by a judge in August 2021 after inflicting ‘unimaginable suffering’ on her daughter
Verphy Kudi left her daughter for six days and came home to find her dead and stiff with rigor mortis (pictured together)
He said: ‘It is difficult to see what value such a person could add to this procedure given the circumstances in which Asiah was conceived. We can’t imagine any value in him being involved.”
During her trial, the court heard that Kudi was a happy girl growing up, “whose laughter would light up the whole house.”
But from the age of 14, she became withdrawn and started playing truant from school and missing from home. Social Services intervened and she was assigned a social worker and moved into a safe house placement in Norfolk.
She was thought to have been a victim of child sexual exploitation when she became pregnant and moved back to Brighton.
She was moved into foster care before Asiah was born on March 22, 2018. The baby was placed on a child protection plan.
Both Verphy and Asiah were known to social services and lived in one of eight Brighton flats run by YMCA DownsLink, which has staff on duty 24 hours a day.
It was later revealed that Verphy had left Asiah home alone in the flat at least ten times.
The Brighton hearing was told that Kudi had become known to social services from November 2016, when she was just 15.
She continued to receive support through Asiah’s birth in March 2018 until the baby’s death on December 11, 2019 and has a long history of contact with healthcare services.
Kudi also objected to her social care history — which runs to 3,000 pages — being made public during the inquest.
The hearing was told that 20-month-old Asiah’s social care history was also about 2,500 pages long.
Miss Schofield, acting senior coroner for Brighton and Hove, said the hearing will not be a jury trial and will most likely end with a narrative conclusion.
Kudi is seen handcuffed outside Lewes Crown Court after pleading guilty to manslaughter
An autopsy and forensic tests revealed that Asiah was starving, dehydrated and contracted the flu. Her cause of death was given as neglect ahead of the next year’s inquest
Tragedy timeline: Mother’s marathon drinking session as her baby starved to death
- December 5, 2019: Kudi left Brighton for London where she spent her 18th birthday with her boyfriend.
- December 7: She went to a concert at Elephant and Castle, London, and stayed out until 4am.
- 9 December: She went to a birthday party in Coventry – 150 miles from Brighton – before returning to London the next day.
- 11 December: She returned home to East Sussex. She got in at 3:38 p.m. to find Asiah dead
A safety assessment by the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership was published earlier this week.
It found that Asiah’s death could not be predicted as the YMCA Downslink staff believed Verphy to be a capable and loving parent.
Chris Robson, chairman of the partnership, said the review found that none of the professionals could have predicted “the appalling nature of what happened.”
The agency’s independent report made 17 recommendations.
These included introducing a system of daily checks in the accommodation where Asiah and her mother were placed and assigning a separate social worker to each young parent’s child with a social worker.
It also recommended regular assessments of each young parent in assisted living, as well as how risks are assessed.
At the trial, prosecutor Sally Howes QC said CCTV footage from 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 December 5 and went to London where she spent her birthday with her boyfriend.
On December 7, she attended a concert at Elephant and Castle and stayed out until 4am.
On 9 December she went to a party in Coventry – 150 miles from Brighton – before returning to London the next day and home to East Sussex on 11 December.
Kudi returned to the flat at 3:38 pm on December 11.
Now an inquest will be held to investigate the death of the tragic toddler and how she was left alone in the flat.
It was told at the pre-trial hearing that the full inquest will look at events leading up to Asiah’s death, including her mother’s social care history as of November 2016.
It will look at her care arrangements, assessments and any input from social services before and during Kudi’s pregnancy through to Asiah’s birth.
The inquest will also examine the responsibilities of YMCA Downslink and the events of December 5-11, 2019.
Assessment and input from social services and other agencies during her pregnancy, birth and until death.
The full inquest will be held in June next year.