Mother and Grandmother jailed following baby death - Luton

25/11/2015

A mother and a grandmother appeared at Luton Crown Court today, Wednesday, 25 November 2015, and were each jailed for eight years following the death of a seven-month-old baby boy in Luton.

Baby Imran was tragically found dead at his house in Luton on 17 January 2014. His mother, Jessica Price, aged 24, and his grandmother, Angela Price, aged 62, both of Morris Close, Luton, were found guilty by a jury 28 October 2015, after a 4-week trial of causing/allowing his death.

They were also found guilty of cruelty to a person under 16 by failing to provide adequate food and drink, and cruelty to a child by failing to obtain medical aid when he failed to thrive.  Angela Price was also found guilty of causing/allowing a child to suffer severe physical harm (nappy rash) and at the start of the trial Jessica Price pleaded guilty to another charge of cruelty to a person under 16 by failing to seek assistance for baby Imran's severe nappy rash, which he suffered in the weeks leading up to his death.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This was a sad case concerning the untimely death of 7-month-old baby Imran on 17 January 2014, in Luton.  This was a tragic waste of life and one which could have easily been avoided.

"Baby Imran's mother, Jessica Price, and grandmother, Angela Price, each had responsibility for him and both failed to adequately care for him to ensure he was properly nourished and hydrated and had access to medical care. They lived in cramped, cluttered and smoky conditions with a pattern of resistance to involvement of and limited co-operation with health professionals.  The prosecution case was that their conduct, through omissions or failures to act, allowed baby Imran to suffer and die.

"Late afternoon on 17 January 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.  He would have shown clear signs of decline due to his 17% weight loss.  Baby Imran was born 10-weeks early and spent 7-weeks in hospital before being allowed home.  It is impossible to imagine a more vulnerable victim.

"Price and Price denied cruelty and causing/allowing the death of defenceless baby Imran and offered no explanation for how he died, but were found guilty by a jury 28 October 2015, after a 4-week trial, of causing/allowing baby Imran's death, cruelty to a person under 16 by failing to provide adequate food and drink, and cruelty to a child by failing to obtain medical aid, despite their denials.  Angela Price was also found guilty of causing/allowing a child to suffer severe physical harm (nappy rash) and at the start of the trial the jury was told Jessica Price had pleaded guilty to another charge of cruelty to a person under 16 by failing to seek assistance for baby Imran's nappy rash.

"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 the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit 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. I hope that the convictions and sentences will in some way help his family come to terms with this tragic event. However, no matter how long the prison sentences are, I acknowledge that nothing can make up for the loss of baby Imran. Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time."

Detective Inspector Alan Page, of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: "This was an absolutely heart-wrenching case involving the tragic death of an innocent baby, as a result of the actions of two of the people who were meant to love him the most.

"Imran was wilfully neglected at the hands of his mother and grandmother, to the extent that he lost 17 per cent of his body weight in just nine days. He also had what doctors described as one of the worse cases of nappy rash they had ever seen.

"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. Today's sentencing can't bring Imran back, but hopefully it shows the child neglect is never acceptable and will always be punished severely."