A teenage mother who left her toddler daughter to starve to death while she partied in London and Coventry has been jailed.
Verphy Kudi, 19, was sentenced on Friday to nine years imprisonment at Lewes Crown Court in East Sussex, England. She has pleaded guilty in March to the manslaughter of her 20-month-old daughter Asiah in December 2019.
Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said CCTV covering Kudi’s home showed that she had left the toddler alone in the flat for five days, 21 hours, and 58 minutes.
Asiah tragically died from influenza and starvation after having been left unattended in the flat for days on end, prosecutors say.
Kudi left Brighton on Dec. 5, 2019, and went to London, where she spent her birthday with her boyfriend.
On Dec. 7, she attended a 1990s music concert in Elephant and Castle, staying out until 4 a.m., and had a DJ announce her birthday.
On Dec. 9, she moved on to a birthday party in Coventry—150 miles from Brighton—before returning to London the next day and then home to East Sussex on Dec. 11.
At 6:12 p.m. on Dec. 11, ambulance staff arrived at Kudi’s Brighton flat, founding Kudi “incoherent, distressed, and distraught” and her daughter lying on the floor. Asiah was taken to the city’s Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital but was confirmed dead on arrival.
Peter Wilcock QC, defending Kudi, said it is “truly a tragic and devastating case.”
“She herself, the defendant, is both very young and we would submit very vulnerable,” he said.
Wilcock cited Kudi’s young age at the time of the offence and her history of vulnerability, as well as the effects any sentence will have on her going forward.
Sentencing Kudi, Judge Christine Laing QC said: “Asiah was alone in that flat for six days—less two hours—unable to do anything to draw attention to her plight.
“She was a helpless child and relied completely on you as her mother to provide for her needs.
“It is almost unbearable to contemplate her suffering in the final days of her life, suffering that she endured so that you could celebrate your birthday and the birthdays of your friends as a carefree teenager.”
“It goes without saying that this is a particularly tragic case and it no doubt raises strong emotions in all who hear of it, but everyone should bear in mind that the charge I sentence you for is one of manslaughter, it being accepted that you did not intend to cause Asiah death nor to cause her really serious harm.”
Kudi stood motionless as she was jailed and taken away by court staff.
In a statement released by Sussex Police, Asiah and Verphy’s family said: “We are saddened by the current situation and as a family we have many unanswered questions.
“Verphy has experienced so much at such a young age and we have always done what we can to support her.
“As a family we are in the midst of an unbearable tragedy. Not only are we coming to terms with what has happened today but we are also still grieving for our beloved Asiah.
“We would be grateful if our privacy can be respected at this moment.”
PA contributed to this report.