In the first case of its kind in Britain, a mother has killed her baby daughter by pouring liquid food into her lungs from a milk jug The Old Baily heard yesterday.
Gloria Dwomah, 31, became "concerned" and then obsessed with her daughter's weight, feeding her baby rice, African corn porridge and chicken soup up to three times a day at their home in Waltham Forest, East London.
The baby, Diamond was only 10 months old when she died.
The pathologist who examined her body told police he had 'never seen so much food' in the lungs of a dead child before.
She told the court: "I was scared - I come from a place where children don't eat and they starve and they die, and I don't want my child to starve and die."
Experts suspect, however, that Diamond would have been visually tortured by the experience by chocking, crying and vomiting.
Under the noses of social care workers
Even more disturbingly, the court heard that social workers, doctors and police could have prevented the death after they missed several clues.
- Knowing that all three of Dwomoh's older children suffered similar abuse and serious health problems as a result of inhaling food;
- Failing to follow up a warning at least four years before the baby's death that the shocking practice should stop;
- Being 'insufficiently sensitive' to the 'significance of cultural values' attached to eating in the family;
- A belief that Dwomoh's actions were motivated by genuine concern for her baby; and
Failure to intervene even after doctors realised one of her other children needed plastic surgery to repair a force-feeding injury.