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Woman charged with manslaughter of seven-year-old boy

|News

Mark Paul, Head of Complex Casework Unit, said: "Following the death of seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain in Birmingham in November 2017, the Crown Prosecution Service has authorised West Midlands Police to charge Laura Heath with one count of manslaughter and four counts of cruelty to a child.

“The CPS authorised charges following careful consideration of all the evidence presented to us by the police as a result of their investigation. The alleged offences occurred between 12 April 2017 and 26 November 2017.

“Please be aware that criminal proceedings against the defendant are now active and she has a right to a fair trial. There must be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Notes to editors

  • Laura Heath [DOB: 21 April 1982] is charged with manslaughter and four counts of assaulting/neglecting/abandoning/ill-treating a child.
  • The defendant is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 15/07/2021
  • Any decision by the CPS does not imply any finding concerning guilt or criminal conduct; the CPS makes decisions only according to the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and it is applied in all decisions on whether or not to prosecute
  • It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider
  • The CPS assessment of any case is not in any sense a finding of, or implication of, any guilt or criminal conduct. It is not a finding of fact, which can only be made by a court, but rather an assessment of what it might be possible to prove to a court, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors
  • This assessment is based on the evidence available arising out of the police investigation and not on the evidence that is likely to be gathered by the defence, and likely to be used to test the prosecution evidence. The CPS charging decision is therefore necessarily an assessment on the basis of the evidence that is available to the CPS at the time the decision is made
  • CPS prosecutors must also keep every case under review, so that they take account of any change in circumstances that occurs as the case develops, including what becomes known of the defence case. If appropriate, the CPS may change the charges or stop a case.

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