Teen mother went online to sell concert tickets on day her starved baby's body was found


A teenager who went partying for six days and left her baby to starve to death took to social media to sell concert tickets on the day her 20-month-old daughter’s body was found.

The family of Verphy Kudi, 19, say they are ‘broken’ by the tragedy after the mother yesterday admitted manslaughter at Lewes Crown Court.

Her daughter Asiah died in a flat at a ‘supported housing’ block in Brighton in December 2019 after being left alone for six days with no food or water.

The baby died when her mother, Kudi, left her behind to travel to London, Coventry and Solihull in celebration of her 18th birthday. 

A post-mortem examination and forensic tests found that Asiah starved, was dehydrated and developed flu. Her cause of death was given as neglect.   

It has since emerged that Kudi, an aspiring Pretty Little Thing model, had attempted to sell concert tickets on Twitter on the day that her daughter’s body was found. 

Verphy Kudi's daughter Asiah (seen together) died at an address in Brighton in December 2019 after being left alone for six days with no food or water

Verphy Kudi’s daughter Asiah (seen together) died at an address in Brighton in December 2019 after being left alone for six days with no food or water

It is unclear whether the posts were made before or after she returned home. 

Following the hearing on Friday, the teenager’s father Muba Kudi, 59, said his ‘heart is so broken’ after the death of his granddaughter. 

‘My heart is so broken. My daughter was missing. She had been missing since the age of 14,’ he said.   

Her sister Aisha Batrane told MailOnline: ‘This whole situation has completely broken my family. It might be entertainment for the rest of the world but it’s totally shattered us.

‘We are heartbroken and angry at how Verphy behaved. Verphy had been estranged from the family for quite a long time and we had minimal contact with her.

‘We have spoken to her and we’re still not clear what she was doing for those six days, who she was with and why she left like that? Who the hell knows? We can’t understand it.

‘As a family we now want to be left alone to grieve and try and understand what’s happened.’

Kudi is seen in handcuffs outside Lewes Crown Court, where she was remanded in custody after pleading guilty to manslaughter

Kudi is seen in handcuffs outside Lewes Crown Court, where she was remanded in custody after pleading guilty to manslaughter 

A post-mortem examination and forensic tests found that Asiah (above) starved, was dehydrated and developed flu. Her cause of death was given as neglect

A post-mortem examination and forensic tests found that Asiah (above) starved, was dehydrated and developed flu. Her cause of death was given as neglect 

Kudi lived in a residential complex run by charity YMCA DownsLink, designed to house vulnerable young families on behalf of Brighton City Council.

Staff are understood to be stationed at the entrance to the eight-flat block at all hours, with residents with social workers said to receive visits.

However, because the flats are independent units, YMCA staff do not enter the living spaces or carry out regular inspections.

Brighton City Council confirmed yesterday that Kudi and Asiah were not involved with social services when the 20-month-old died.  

Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) – an association of council services, police and NHS – has launched a serious case review into the case. 

Kudi tweeted on the same day her baby's body was discovered, trying to sell concert tickets

Kudi tweeted on the same day her baby’s body was discovered, trying to sell concert tickets

A few months later, she posted this tweet urging people to support her attempts to become a PrettyLittleThing model

A few months later, she posted this tweet urging people to support her attempts to become a PrettyLittleThing model

Kudi was seen on CCTV leaving the flat on her birthday before attending parties in London, Coventry and Solihull – more than 150 miles away from her home.

The court heard how the mother had called 999 after seeing her baby would not wake up when she returned home from the party spree on December 11, 2019. 

Asiah was rushed to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, but was declared dead on arrival. 

She spoke only to answer guilty to the plea and confirm her name at Lewes Crown Court yesterday.

Little Asiah was born on March 22, 2018 and was only 20-months-old when she died. It is not clear who the baby’s father was. 

She had been living at the flat in Brighton with her mother where they had been housed by social services since September 30, 2019. 

Kudi's flat was one of eight in a complex in Brighton (seen above in an undated photo)

Kudi’s flat was one of eight in a complex in Brighton (seen above in an undated photo) 

Asiah was pronounced dead on arrival at the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton on Wednesday, December 11

Asiah was pronounced dead on arrival at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton on Wednesday, December 11

Cameras showed Kudi leaving the building on December 5 at 5.39pm.

She did not return until December 11, when at 6.06pm she dialled 999 telling a call handler her baby would not wake up.

A few days later, staff at the Brighton mother and baby unit for teenagers contacted police after reviewing CCTV footage.  

Data gathered by Sussex Police showed Kudi had been at parties in London, Coventry and Solihull before returning to Brighton.  

Judge Christine Laing told Kudi: ‘You have heard that before I get to sentence you the defence want to get a report on your behalf and a doctor will no doubt make arrangements to see you and interview you over the next few weeks.’ 

The case was adjourned to a provisional sentencing date of May 28, but Kudi was warned this may be delayed.

Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership (BHSCP) said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Asiah. In our safeguarding role, we will work with our partners to look into what has happened and carry out a Child Safeguarding Practice Review.

The baby was not under a child protection plan or assigned to a social worker when she died

The baby was not under a child protection plan or assigned to a social worker when she died 

Kudi lived in a supported housing complex in Brighton. While she left her baby alone she partied in London, Solihull and Coventry 

‘This includes working with our partner Sussex Police to make sure our review is carried out in support of or alongside their ongoing actions in this case.’ 

YMCA Downslink said: ‘This tragedy has shocked us all. Our staff, particularly those who work the complex, have been and continue to be, deeply affected by it.

‘Verphy Kudi and her daughter, Asiah had been living at the independent living flats, for 11 weeks, when Asiah died.

‘We will be working with the Safeguarding Practice Review to understand any lessons that can be learned from this tragedy.

‘Our sympathies and thoughts are with the family and everyone affected by this tragic event.’ 

Data gathered by Sussex Police showed Kudi had been at parties in London, Coventry and Solihull before returning to Brighton

Data gathered by Sussex Police showed Kudi had been at parties in London, Coventry and Solihull before returning to Brighton

YMCA DownsLink was handed a three-year contract worth £336,000 by Brighton council to run the accommodation, starting on Sunday 1 September 2019, Brighton and Hove News reported. 

The contact offered a ‘medium’ level of support for families, with all flats self-contained with their own kitchen, space for staff on duty, and a communal area for group activities. 

MailOnline has contacted YMCA DownsLink for further comment. 

The Senior Investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Wolstenholme, said; ‘This was a particularly distressing case for my team and me to investigate, and has caused great sorrow amongst Verphy’s family and the many agencies that have supported Verphy and Asiah.

‘We note the guilty plea entered in this case, and continue to prepare for Verphy’s sentencing in May.’ 

A council spokesperson said: ‘We have been deeply saddened by this tragedy.

‘The case is currently the subject of criminal proceedings, and the city’s Safeguarding Children Partnership is also conducting a review of the circumstances in to the tragic death of this young child.

‘We are undertaking an internal review, which will feed into the partnership review.

‘We have fully supported the police investigation, and are committed to working with the Partnership in its review and taking learning from this.

‘Asiah was not on a child protection plan and was not involved with social work services when she died.

‘It would not be appropriate for us to comment further while the criminal proceedings and reviews are ongoing.’

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