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Council release statement after safeguarding review published into the tragic death of 20-month-old Asiah Kudi 

The Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children’s Partnership has published a review into the tragic death of Asiah Kudi in December 2019.

Verphy Kudi, Photo SusPol

20-month-old Asiah Kudi, was found dead in a flat in Brighton after her mother Verphy Kudi was out celebrating her 18th birthday in December 2019. Lewes crown court were told at the time of sentineling her to nine years in prison for manslaughter. She travelled to London and Coventry, and had acted like a “carefree teenager”. Prosecutor Sally Howes QC told the court CCTV covering Kudi’s home showed she had left Asiah alone in the flat for five days, 21 hours and 58 minutes.

A post-mortem examination concluded the cause of death was starvation and influenza, with reported signs of dehydration and severe nappy rash, the CPS added.

Speaking after the publication of the review, Deb Austin, Executive Director of Families, Children & Learning at Brighton & Hove City Council said she was deeply saddened by the extremely complex and enormously tragic case.

Deb said: “Today is a very difficult and sad day for many people as we are reminded again that a young life has been lost in awful circumstances.

“When a child or young person dies who are known to children’s services, people immediately want to know what led up to it, what happened and what else could be done to prevent something similar happening again in future.

“And this is exactly why we welcome the recommendations and findings of the independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review carried out by the Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children’s Partnership.

“The review found that none of the professionals involved could have predicted that Asiah’s mother would leave her 20-month-old daughter ill and alone at home for six days.

“The review also highlights the high level of support and services that were being as provided to Asiah and her mother and identifies there was much good practice by practitioners.”

Deb added: “Following the death of Asiah we have strengthened our multi-agency assessments before making changes to a child’s plan and updated guidance on a child’s child having a social worker.

“We are also continuing to improve the process for housing and supported accommodation for children with children.

“Following the report, we will continue working with the children’s safeguarding partnership on all the findings and recommendation.

“We will all ensure that this learning is embedded in our practices to support people in similar circumstances.

“Social workers in Brighton & Hove do an incredible job and support a great deal of children and young people to have safe lives with potential and opportunity. The death of a child is a tragedy and is what every single person working with children and families strives to prevent from happening.

“Our thoughts today are on Asiah, and her family and with all those affected by this tragic death.”

The inquest into Asiah’s death will take place next year and we will be fully participating in that process. It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further until that process is complete.

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