Hamzah Khan
  June 17, 2005 - December 15, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial

Looking at the face of the beautiful, baby boy above, you see worry, you see fear, you see pain, what you SHOULD see is happiness and some sign that this child was healthy. How did this baby boy manage to go unnoticed for SO long, long enough that he died and his body remained inside his home, in his bed, for two years? He was failed, by his mother, failed by Children's Services and failed by Police. Why does this KEEP happening when news laws and promises of change are made that are supposed to protect these children?

Other rooms in the home were just as bad if not worse. To the left is a picture of what the kitchen in the home looked like and below, is a picture of what the bedroom looked like.

Between the years 2003 and 2008, there were at least 11 complaints filed against the household. A report would later show that numerous times Police, Health Workers, Social Services and Education Officials had been in contact with the family, which was in direct contradiction that the family was "off the radar". How then can ANYONE say that this child should not have been protected? With eight children in the home, why didn't the Police notice anything was wrong when they were called to a home that was filled with trash and had someone calling about domestic violence?

The picture to the left shows what the living room of the home looked like when police found Hamza's body in his bed. It doesn't happen overnight that a home looks like that, it takes time and certainly at some point in the five years the home had been visited, SOMEONE had seen this mess and SHOULD have become concerned for the children living there who had to walk or crawl around in the filth that was supposed to be their home.

Aftab Khan was arrested on suspicion of beating his wife, Amanda Hutton in 2008,  however, he stated that the Police had failed his son because had told them numerous time about what was going on in the home, that Amanda was an alcoholic and the home was a mess with the children being neglected. Aftab said the police chose to do nothing about it:

"The Police are responsible, the authorities are responsible. How can you let children down?
The bottom line
is that child is dead. Never mind me, never mind her"

THAT CHILD? That child is dead? That child has a name Aftab, his name is Hamzah!

After being arrested for domestic violence, Aftab told police:

"You've got keep an eye on that woman. All I want you to do is get a doctor to check on Hamzah, how
undernourished he is, check how neglected he is, see how he is"

A police spokesman said:

"The interviewing officers had seen the children in their home five days previously when attending
the initial incident and there was nothing that caused concern at the time. As with all incidents of
domestic violence involving families with children, a notification was made to the Social Services
Department at Bradford Council. The father was advised that he could also make a referral to
Social Services. There was no evidence that he made any such referral"

How can the police say there was no cause for concern when that place was a disgusting, filthy pig sty?

Amanda Hutton was charged and later convicted of manslaughter in the death of Hamzah. The judge in the case said she was a danger to her children and the Recorder Of Bradford, Roger Thomas said:

"You have shown a terrible failure to fulfill the most basic responsibility, in short you starved Hamzah
to death. You were worried that people would find out you killed him. Your deviousness was to keep
various agencies away from yo you and your children. Your wicked conduct has been displayed in such
awful detail"

Officers testified that when they entered the home after a complaint from neighbors that dirty diapers were continuously being thrown into their yard, they smell was horrible from all of the trash. Living in the home were five of Amanda's other children aged five to 12, Amanda had admitted to the neglect of those five children and to preventing the burial of Hamzah. Tariq Khan, who was 24 years old at the time, is Amanda's oldest child and he was convicted of preventing the burial of a child and was sentenced to two years in prison, with both years being suspended. Tariq had testified that his mother held a knife to the throat of one his siblings and threatened to kill the child or burn down the house if he he told anyone that his brother had died.

In court, neighbors testified that the children in the home could be heard crying and that they never seemed to be comforted and that the blinds in the home were never opened. Children in the home were never allowed to play outside and Paul Greaney CQ Prosecutor said the history of what had taken place after those issues were raised was complex and that Social Services, Education Services and the Police were involved to a greater or lesser extent adding that a case review was taking place to figure out their involvement in the death of Hamzah but that their involvement or lack of was not the only consideration:

"Whatever was and was not done by those agencies should not detract from the shocking and
disgraceful conduct of Amanda Hutton involving six of her children. She killed Hamzah, no one else"

Amanda Hutton was convicted of manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Another conviction for child cruelty brought an additional sentence of three years, as well as two and a half years for preventing the burial of a child, the sentences would run consecutively.

After Amanda was sentenced, Aftab said that Hamzah's death could have been avoided if police had listened to him when he tried to report what was going on. I have to wonder, why didn't Aftab help his children? Why did he not clean up or try to, why did he not kick Amanda out of the house and take control of the children? He has a part of the blame in this, if he admits it or not. You don't watch your children suffer, report it and then when nothing is done, go on with your life, unless you feel nothing towards your children, still he said:

"If once they  had believed me and gone to check the children, Hamzah would have been alive"

A family friend was at the sentencing hearing and said:

"It's so bad that this has happened to her and her whole family, really. I saw a lot of love from her
to her children. Something must have happened to her"

Once again, as is always the case in England, a review was done and Edward Timpson  stated that it was not only the fault of the mother, but also of the system:

"It is tragic beyond words that by the time a health visitor did trigger concerns about the
whereabouts of the younger children in the household, who were missing from health and
education services altogether, Hamzah Khan was dead"

 Professor Nick Frost didn't agree:

"If there was sufficient information then we would have intervened. The only person
responsible for Hamzah's death was his mother"

Professor Frost said that lessons had been learned and that the system had reformed so that children would stop disappearing. It was said that Amanda and her children had been removed from the local GP Patient list because she had not shown up for more than one scheduled appointment with her family, so rather than check on the children, she was removed from the list. Professor Frost said that the policy that had allowed that to happen, has been changed and will no longer be allowed.

During a press conference, all parties seemed to want to blame the other, Social Services and the Police were saying it had been the role of the other to protect the child. One excuse they used was that  Amanda and some of the other children in the home had stated that Hamzah had been shipped off to live with other relatives, this is a story they had heard before, on more than one occasion and it turned out to be a lie, yet NO ONE thought to verify the information. No one involved was offering any apology for the fact that a child had been allowed to die and lay mummified in his bed for almost two years and not one person faced any discipline for failing this child.

The Director Of Children's Services, Kath Tunstall, stated that all of staff had acted appropriately and then she went on to criticize the police for not letting them know of the concerns in this family. West Yorkshire Police said that every domestic violence incident was reported to the social workers though no specific concerns were made. Why would they HAVE to be made? Any time there is domestic violence in the home, someone should automatically check on the children, make sure their mental and physical needs are being met, that is just common sense.

Chief Executive of the charity, Action For Children, Dame Clare Tickell go it right when she said:

"Children at risk of dying at the hands of their parents are crying out for help but they are not being
heard. It seems that people are so afraid of doing the wrong thing, they don't do anything, which
up to a systemic failure to protect the most vulnerable. We need to be allowed to be braver,
to push harder
by being persistent and take action to protect children, or child neglect will continue
to have devastating affects"

FINALLY, someone who gets it! I love love love this woman!

Thank you to Grisele for allowing me to memorialize this little Angel by alerting me to his story.

This page was created on May 23, 2104

Death occurred in England

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