A judge blasted the mum and gran of a baby who died of starvation and an untreated nappy rash as he sentenced them to eight years in prison.
Jessica Price, 23, and her mother Angela Price, 62, stood motionless in the dock before a packed courtroom at Luton Crown Court today as Judge Richard Foster sentenced the pair.
They were convicted on October 28 of causing baby Imran’s death after a trial by jury.
Seven-month-old Imran died on Januray 17, 2014 at his home at Morris Close in Luton, surrounded by cigarette butts and “squalor”.
In the last nine days of his life he had lost 17% of his bodyweight, due to the pair’s unwillingness to feed him.
He had also suffered from an untreated nappy rash his mother had consistently failed to collect a prescription for.
The rash was described by a paediatric nurse as the worst she had ever seen.
Sentencing the pair to the maximum sentence of eight years, Judge Foster said: “His suffering in those last days is unimaginable.
“Even in his last days, his life could have been saved if you had done something about it.
“Babies are completely helpless and rely for their wellbeing on the care of parents. Society rightly places a heavy burden on parents and carers.”
Addressing the baby’s mother Jessica Price, Judge Foster said that she had consistently failed to accept responsibility for what had happened.
“You continue to blame health professionals.
“You and your mother had primary responsibility for Imran’s care.”
Angela Price’s reaction to her grandson’s death was described as “delusional”.
Det Insp Alan Page, of the Beds, Cambs and Herts major crime unit, said: “This was an absolutely heart-wrenching case involving the tragic death of an innocent baby.
“Had it not been for the cruel and callous neglect by these cold-hearted individuals, then I really believe that Imran would still be alive today.”
Jessica Price was found guilty of three counts of cruelty to a child by failing to provide him with adequate food or drink and failing to obtain adequate medical aid.. Angela Price was found guilty of two counts of cruelty to a child and one of causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm.
Both were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child. They must serve at least half of their sentences.
After the verdict, the CPS released a statement underlying the harrowing circumstances of the case.
Adrian Foster, chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “Baby Imran’s mother, Jessica Price, and grandmother, Angela Price ... lived in cramped, cluttered and smoky conditions with a pattern of resistance and limited co-operation with health professionals.
“Late afternoon on January 17, 2014, Jessica Price called the emergency services to say her son was lifeless. When paramedics arrived they found baby Imran had been dead for some time. A substantial cause of his death was dehydration. This was not something that happened suddenly in a few hours, but over a number of days.
“This was an extremely difficult and complex case to prosecute. We needed lengthy and highly technical evidence from top medical experts to help provide an explanation as to why this little boy died. This evidence enabled the prosecution to piece together what had happened and exclude any possible innocent explanation for his death.
“We have worked closely with Bedfordshire Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved for baby Imran.”