Old Bailey
Nkosiyapha Kunene admitted at the Old Bailey to manslaughter of his sonReuters

A devoutly religious couple whose five-month-old son died from rickets after they kept him on a strict died have admitted manslaughter.

Nkosiyapha Kunene, 36, of Erith, southeast London, admitted at the Old Bailey to killing his son, Ndingeko, in June 2012.

His wife, Virginia Kunene, 32, had pleaded guilty to the same offence at an earlier hearing.

The court heard how their son died of rickets, a softening of bones brought on by a deficiency of vitamin D, phosphorus or calcium, after they put him on a strict diet.

The judge, Justice Singh, told the Zimbabwe-born couple he would be "considering all options" before sentencing them in February.

"The seriousness of the offence, the life of a baby lost, will be apparent to everyone so I must bear that in mind," he added.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said: "This is clearly a tragic case. There came a time when it was obvious her son required medical assistance and there was a real possibility of death.

"Because of the diet she adhered to, the child became unwell. There may have been insufficient support about the health of the child but there were warnings from the family."

Both defendants were granted conditional bail. They will be sentenced on 28 February.