Mother jailed after baby starved says father should not be at inquest

Mother jailed after leaving her baby to starve to death while she went on six-day 18th birthday party spree says child’s father should not be involved in her inquest

  • Verphy Kudi, now 20, has objected to Asiah’s father’s involvement in the inquest
  • Her lawyer said it was unsuitable given ‘the circumstances’ of Kudi’s pregnancy
  • Kudi went on a six-day partying spree for her 18th birthday and left Asiah alone
  • She has also objected to her care records, going back to age 14, being published

A mother jailed after leaving her baby to starve to death while she went out partying for six days has objected to the girl’s father being involved in the inquest, a hearing was told.

Asiah Kudi, aged 20 months, died after her mother Verphy Kudi left her home alone in a Brighton flat as she went out to celebrate her 18th birthday.

Kudi, now 20, returned to the flat five days, 21 hours and 58 minutes later and found Asiah dead in her cot.

Asiah, who was suffering from flu, died from dehydration and starvation in December 2019.

Kudi was jailed for nine years in August 2021 after admitting one count of manslaughter at Lewes Crown Court with Judge Christine Laing saying Asiah had undergone ‘almost unimaginable suffering’.

Today Kudi objected to the baby’s father, whose identity is unknown, having a voice at the hearing over Asiah’s death.

At a pre-inquest hearing Coroner Penelope Schofield said the unidentified father could be named as an interested person at the forthcoming inquest.

But Philip Dayle, representing Kudi, 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 putting her daughter through ‘unimaginable suffering’

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 hard to see any value that such a person would be able to bring to these proceedings given the circumstances that Asiah was conceived. We can’t conceive of any value of him being involved’.

During her trial, the court heard Kudi had been a happy girl growing up, ‘whose laughter would light up the whole house’.

But from the age of 14 she became withdrawn and began truanting from school and going missing from home. Social services stepped in and she was assigned a social worker and moved to a placement at a safe house in Norfolk.

It was thought she became a victim of child sexual exploitation as she fell pregnant and moved back to Brighton.

She was moved in with foster carers 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 were living in one of eight flats in a supported housing unit in Brighton run by YMCA DownsLink which has staff on the premises 24 hours a day.

It later materialised that Verphy had left Asiah home alone in the flat at least a dozen times.

The hearing in Brighton was told Kudi had become known to social services from November 2016 when she was just 15. 

She continued to receive support until and after the birth of Asiah in March 2018 up until the baby’s death on December 11 2019 and has a long history of contact with care services. 

Kudi also objected to her social care history – which runs to 3,000 pages – being made public at the inquest.

The hearing was told that the social care history into 20-month-old Asiah was also around 2,500 pages long.

Miss Schofield, acting senior coroner for Brighton and Hove, said the hearing would not be a jury inquest and would most likely end with a narrative conclusion.

Kudi is seen in handcuffs outside Lewes Crown Court after pleading guilty to manslaughter 

A post-mortem examination and forensic tests found that Asiah starved, was dehydrated and developed flu. Her cause of death was given as neglect ahead of next year’s inquest

Timeline of the tragedy: Mother’s marathon drinking session as her baby starved to death

  • December 5, 2019: Kudi left Brighton and went to London where she spent her 18th birthday with her boyfriend.
  • December 7: She went to a concert in Elephant and Castle, London, and stayed out until 4am.
  • December 9: She moved on to a birthday party in Coventry — 150 miles from Brighton — before returning to London the next day.
  • December 11: She returned home to East Sussex. She got in at 3.38pm to discover Asiah dead

Earlier this week a safeguarding review by the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership was published.

It found Asiah’s death could not have been predicted as staff at the YMCA Downslink believed Verphy was a capable and loving parent.

Chris Robson, chair of the partnership, said the review found none of the professionals could have predicted ‘the appalling nature of what happened’.

The body’s independent report made 17 recommendations.

These include bringing in a system of daily checks at the accommodation where Asiah and her mother were placed and allocating a separate social worker to the child of any young parent with a social worker.

It also recommended regularly reviewing every young parent in supported accommodation, as well as how risks are assessed. 

During the trial, prosecutor Sally Howes QC said CCTV covering Kudi’s home showed 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 in Elephant and Castle and stayed out until 4am.

On December 9 she moved on to a party in Coventry — 150 miles from Brighton — before returning to London the next day and home to East Sussex on December 11.

Kudi returned to the flat at 3.38pm on December 11.

Now an inquest is to be held to examine the death of the tragic toddler and how she came to be left alone in the flat.

The pre-inquest hearing was told the full inquest will look at events that led to Asiah’s death including her mother’s social care history from November 2016.

It will look at her care provisions, assessments and any input from social services before and during Kudi’s pregnancy right up to and after 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 up to the death.

The full inquest is due to be held in June next year.

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