In the Media

Nurse jailed for killing her baby by force-feeding

PUBLISHED November 11, 2011

Gloria Dwomoh is found guilty of causing or allowing death after court hears she became obsessed with her daughter's weight A nurse has been jailed for three years for killing her baby by force-feeding her in the first case of its kind in Britain. Gloria Dwomoh, 31, was found guilty at the Old Bailey last month of causing or allowing the death of 10-month-old Diamond. She was said to be obsessed with Diamond's weight and poured liquidised food down her throat with a jug when she was weaning her. Diamond died in March last year after being taken to a hospital near her home in Waltham Forest, east London. A postmortem examination found she died from pneumonia caused by food, including meat and cereals, in her lungs. The prosecution said Diamond was forced to take her feed from the jug after the spout was placed in her mouth. Trevor Burke QC, for Dwomoh, said: "She has endured the loss of her child for over a year. She has been punished enough." He presented the court with a 1,000-signature petition from family and friends pleading for mercy, and asked the judge to impose a suspended sentence. But the Common Serjeant of London, Judge Brian Barker, described Dwomoh's actions as a "misguided obsession". Barker said: "The forcing of food into your daughter against her natural instincts would have caused her daily distress. "At best it was a misguided obsession ? but a determined obsession ? which must have caused daily prolonged distress to your daughter. "It cannot be described as an act of kindness. It took away her life and that is something you must live with." He said the practice of feeding by pouring food from a cup or jug into a child's throat was culturally acceptable in some parts of the world. "In this country the feeding of a child in this way, against its will, is wrong and dangerous," he added. Dwomoh, who worked at St Thomas' hospital in London, wept in court as she denied doing anything to harm her baby. She said she and her siblings had been fed the same way by her mother in Ghana when they were weaned on to solid food. On the night Diamond died, she had fed the child, bathed her and put her to bed before going to work. "I didn't do anything to her. I didn't do anything at all to hurt her," she said as she broke down in the witness box. Dwomoh showed the jury two small china jugs, the size of cups, which she used for feeding. She said she made up feeds, including liquidised chicken soup, in one jug and transferred small amounts to feed the girl into the other. Diamond did not take to the bottle well and she was trying "to give her nutrients rather than milk". Crime Child protection London Children © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds