KEY POINTS

  • A 19-year-old British woman was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter
  • Verphy Kudi left her 20-month-daughter alone while she partied for nearly a week for her birthday in 2019
  • The child died of starvation and influenza, with reported signs of dehydration

A British woman who partied for close to a week while her 20-month-old daughter was left to starve to death in late 2019 has been sentenced to nearly a decade in jail.

Verphy Kudi, 19, was sentenced Friday at Lewes Crown Court to nine years in jail after she pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her daughter, Asiah Kudi, The Guardian reported.

The teen mother traveled to London and Coventry in December 2019 to celebrate her 18th birthday, acting like a "carefree teenager," while Asiah was left alone at her Brighton, England, apartment, the court was told, according to the BBC.

"It is almost unbearable to contemplate [Asiah's] suffering in the final days of her life, suffering that she endured so that you could celebrate your birthday and the birthdays of your friends as a carefree teenager," prosecutor Sally Howes told the court.

Security camera footage showed that Kudi left her daughter alone in the apartment for five days, 21 hours and 58 minutes, the prosecutor said.

Asiah "was a helpless child" who "relied completely on [Kudi] as her mother to provide for her needs," according to Howes.

Kudi returned home on Dec. 11 that year after a nearly week-long celebration of her coming of age, which saw her going to London on Dec. 5 to meet with her boyfriend and attending a concert in Elephant and Castle two days later, the court heard. It was unclear if her boyfriend was Asiah's biological father.

The teenager called 999 — the official emergency number for the U.K. — and told medical personnel her baby was not waking up. An ambulance crew found Kudi "incoherent, distressed and distraught" just after 6:20 p.m., the court was told.

Paramedics discovered Asiah was not breathing, and the child was rushed to Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead soon after arrival, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

A post-mortem examination concluded that the cause of Asiah's death was starvation and influenza, the CPS said. Additionally, the examination reported signs of dehydration and severe nappy rash, according to the agency.

"Asiah's mother Verphy Kudi had a duty to keep her safe from harm, but instead selfishly chose to put her own need to party and be with her friends above all else," Libby Clark of CPS South East said in a statement released on the day of Kudi's sentencing.

"The consequences of her decision meant that Asiah must have suffered dreadfully during the days and nights that she was alone in the flat," she added.

The incident followed a "history of multiple earlier occasions of abandonment and neglect," Clark said.

Kudi initially told authorities she had been with Asiah at the apartment all the time, except for one visit she made with her to London, as per the BBC. But police found the CCTV footage and also discovered phone footage taken during her time away from home.

Kudi's lawyer, Peter Wilcock, was quoted by The Guardian as describing Asiah's death as "tragic and devastating."

"Verphy has experienced so much at such a young age and we have always done what we can to support her. As a family we are in the midst of an unbearable tragedy," Kudi and Asiah's family said in a statement released by Sussex police.

baby-428395_1920 Representational image. Photo: Pixabay