Baby force-feeding death: Mother Gloria Dwomoh guilty
10/13/2011 8:37:45 AM -
A mother has been found guilty of force-feeding her baby until she died.
Gloria Dwomoh, a 31-year-old nurse from Walthamstow, east London, was convicted of allowing or causing the death. The child's father, 37, has been acquitted of the charge.
The 10-month-old, named at the Old Bailey as Diamond, was forced to take solid foods from the age of six months until she died in March 2010.
She died from pneumonia caused by food in her lungs, blocking her airways.
Dwomoh, who worked at St Thomas' Hospital near Waterloo, will be sentenced on 9 November.
Both Dwomoh and her husband, who cannot be named, had denied the charge.
'Distressed and choking'
Dwomoh was obsessed with Diamond's weight and fed her liquidised food, including meat and cereals, using a jug when she was weaning the child onto solid food, the jury heard.
During the trial, the court was shown two jugs - the size of cups - which she used to feed the child.
Dwomoh told the court she made up feeds, including liquidised chicken soup, in one jug and transferred small amounts into the other which she fed the girl with.
She said she was trying "to give her nutrients rather than milk".
On the night of the child's death she left to work on the night shift after feeding her daughter, the jury heard.
Dwomoh told the court that she and her siblings had been fed the same way by her mother in Ghana.
Giving evidence, she told the jury: "I didn't do anything to her. I didn't do anything at all to hurt her."
Death 'not predictable'
During the trial Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said the food went down the "wrong way" for months and the spout of the jug was placed into the girl's mouth to "prevent her closing it".
"If you have a child who is distressed and choking, you do not carry on," he said.
A serious case review found "weaknesses and shortcomings" in the actions of some agencies involved with the family, said Laura Eades, chair of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children's Board.
"Had best practice had been followed, the risk to Diamond of force-feeding would have been better recognised and the family would have been offered further support and intervention.
"This should have reduced the probability of Diamond being subject to behaviour that proved, in this case, to be fatal," she said.
However, the report concluded Diamond's death "was not predictable", she added.