Teenager Partied for Six Days While Her Baby Starved to Death
20-month-old Asiah was left alone in an apartment while her mother went on a birthday bender with friends.
Verphy Kudi raised her arm to acknowledge the DJ shouting her name and wishing her a happy birthday over the microphone, while she and her friends partied at a nightclub in Elephant and Castle in London.
The 18-year-old didn’t have a care in the world at that moment, nor in the days after, when she travelled 100 miles from London up to Coventry to continue the celebrations. In reality, Verphy shouldn’t have been there at all, because back at home in Brighton on the south coast, her 20-month-old daughter Asiah was dying from starvation and dehydration, and no one knew.
Verphy grew up in and around Brighton and was estranged from her parents, living in social care accommodation. Over the years, Verphy had become difficult, claimed her mother, and at 14 years old, she’d stopped going to school altogether.
Verphy was placed in a safe house in Norfolk, but it appeared that the teenager had become part of a group that sexually exploited children, and Verphy soon became pregnant and moved back to Brighton.
On the 22nd of March 2018, Asiah was born, and the pair were placed onto a child protection plan upheld by local social services. Verphy and Asiah were eventually moved into council housing in Hanover, Brighton, where vulnerable families are placed.
The complex, run by YMCA Downslink, housed eight young people and their children in a large home split into flats. Inspections were not carried out on the apartments, and the tenants were self-contained, giving the young people their independence.
However, the low level of support given by the charity and a dismissal of the child protection plan meant that Verphy could come and go as she pleased, and often that meant leaving her daughter alone for hours, sometimes days.
In the months leading up to her death, Asiah was left for seven hours on the 23rd of October when Verphy went to a birthday party in town. In November, she was left four times, the longest being for two days and five hours. A total of six times, the camera footage…