Baby Asiah who starved to death 'was already on social workers' radar'

Baby girl who died of starvation after being left alone for nearly six days by her mother to go out partying was already on social workers’ radar, inquest hears

  • Asiah Kudi died at 20 months old while her mother Verphy, 18, went out partying
  • Inquest into Asiah’s death heard social workers had concerns over her care

An inquest into the death of a baby girl who was abandoned for six days by her mother who went out partying has heard that social workers were worried about her care in the weeks before she died.

Asiah Kudi, aged 20 months, died in her cot after her mother Verphy Kudi left her home alone in a Brighton flat,

Kudi travelled across the country, first to London, then Coventry and finally Solihull – more than 150 miles away from her neglected baby – to celebrate her 18th birthday with friends between December 5 and 11, 2019.

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

The infant had died from dehydration and starvation and the effects of flu in December 2019.

Asiah Kudi, aged 20 months, died in her cot in December 2019 after her mother Verphy Kudi left her home alone in a Brighton flat while she went out partying

Asiah’s mother returned to the flat five days, 21 hours and 58 minutes later and found the baby girl dead in her cot

Kudi was jailed for nine years in August 2021 after admitting one count of manslaughter at Lewes Crown Court.


Today an inquest into Asiah’s death heard social workers had concerns over her care in the weeks leading up to her death.

A series of incidents at the supported housing unit, Gochers Court in Brighton, where Kudi lived with Asiah, had sparked worries about her care of her daughter.

Staff at the unit contacted social workers after watching CCTV footage of Kudi leaving her baby daughter home alone.

The footage showed Kudi and some friends going in and out of the unit purportedly drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.

At around 3am on October 11, 2019, Kudi was spotted smoking outside the housing unit for between 15 and 30 minutes.

A week later she dropped off her daughter with her mother, Asia Batrane, at around midnight before going out partying with friends.

In the early hours of the morning CCTV showed Kudi being carried back into her flat ‘clearly intoxicated and mostly unconscious’ by male friend.

At around midday the following day Ms Batrane returned Asiah to Kudi at Gocher Court.

Jakki Cahill, Kudi’s social worker, said both incidents were ‘concerning’ and, as a result, Kudi was banned from having guests for one week.

Verphy Kudi, now aged 21, was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment at Lewes Crown Court, East Sussex, in August 2021 after she admitted manslaughter

A map shows the cross-country tour Verphy Kudi made to celebrate her 18th birthday, as she left her baby daughter alone for six days

Mobile phone footage issued by Sussex Police showed Kudi at a concert in Elephant and Castle London on December 8 while her baby was at home

Verphy Kudi outside Lewes Crown Court in 2021 where she pleaded guilty to her baby’s manslaughter

Steps were also taken to refer the case to Front Door for Families – which has special expertise in child safeguarding – but the referral was never made.


The inquest was told that under the terms of her residency at the unit she was allowed to go out in the evening once or twice a week as long as Asiah was being cared for.

However Kudi had a habit of lying about her whereabouts, not just to social workers and staff at Gocher Court, but also to her mother, Ms Batrane.

Questioning Ms Cahill, James Burton, for Brighton and Hove City Council, said Kudi was ‘not to be trusted with questions about her whereabouts.’

Mr Burton asked Ms Cahill: ‘If you had been aware Verphy had left her daughter unattended for any material period of time, what would you have done?’

‘I would have contacted Front Door for Families and raised it as a child protection concern,’ said Ms Cahill.

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

Verphy gave birth to Asiah in March 2018 when she was 16 and mother and baby were still under the care of social services.

They moved one of eight flats at Gocher Court, a supported housing unit in Brighton run by YMCA DownsLink which has staff on the premises 24 hours a day.

On December 5, 2019, Asiah was left alone with no food or water in her cot while her mother went out partying.

Asia Batrane, mother of jailed Verphy Kudi and grandmother of Asiah – arrives at the inquest into the death of the 20 month old 

Coroner Penelope Schofield is presiding over the inquest into the death of 20-month-old Asiah Kudu

Verphy Kudi travelled to London, Coventry and Solihull – more than 150 miles away – to celebrate her 18th birthday with friends.


On the day her daughter died Kudi was on social media trying to sell concert tickets and attempting to launch her own modelling career.

The trial heard she returned to her flat when Asiah had been home alone five days 21 hours and 58 minutes but did not call emergency services for more than two hours.

In that time she was seen emptying bags into a communal bin area before going back to her flat.

She eventually dialled 999 at 6.06pm and told the call handler after her daughter was ‘not waking up’.

She told paramedics Asiah had been sleeping all day she had given her milk and Calpol and let her sleep.

Asiah – who paramedics noticed had signs of rigor mortis – was rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead

The trial heard that in the three months leading up to her death there were at least six other occasions she left Asiah alone in the flat – once for two whole days.

Last year 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.

However the body’s independent report made 17 recommendations, including bringing in a system of daily checks at YMCA Downslink.

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

The inquest into Asiah Kudi’s death, which is expected to last five days, continues.

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