Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Nurse faces jail over baby feeding

A woman has been found guilty of causing or allowing the death of her 10-month-old daughter by force-feeding
A woman has been found guilty of causing or allowing the death of her 10-month-old daughter by force-feeding

A nurse is facing jail after killing her baby by force-feeding her in the first case of its kind in Britain.

Social workers and health professionals apologised for not saving 10-month-old Diamond, the latest in a line of children let down by carers.

Now, an investigation is being launched into feeding methods used by mothers, particularly those from cultures where bigger babies are considered to be healthier.

A serious case review reported 18 key findings, including the lack of understanding on the issues which should have caused alarm bells to ring.

Gloria Dwomoh was found guilty at the Old Bailey of causing or allowing the death of Diamond. She was said to be obsessed with Diamond's weight and poured liquidised food into her mouth when she was weaning her.

Diamond died in March last year after being taken to a hospital near her home in Waltham Forest, east London. A post-mortem examination found she died from pneumonia caused by food, including meat and cereals, in her lungs.

The prosecution said Diamond was forced to take her feed from a jug after the spout was placed in her mouth. The mother and her 37-year-old husband denied the charge. The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was found not guilty.

Dwomoh, 31, who worked at St Thomas' Hospital in south London, had wept in court as she denied doing anything to harm her baby. She said she and her siblings had been fed the same way by her mother in Ghana when she was weaning them onto solid food.

Dwomoh had been warned about the feeding method in the past but Diamond, although taken to see doctors, was not on the "at risk" register.

Laura Eades, chair of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children's Board, said: "I would like to express our deep regret and sadness for the death of Diamond. The death of a child by force-feeding is extremely rare. To our knowledge, this case is the first of its kind in this country and we are determined to learn from the issues that were central to this tragic loss of life."

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