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Boy had 'head-to-foot fractures'

A SEVERELY malnourished boy of 18 months, who weighed half what he should at his age, was taken into hospital with fractures 'from head to foot', a court was told yesterday.

Shezul Uddin, born in Bangladesh, was taken into the care of Portab Ali, 28, and his wife Amina Banu, 26, who brought him to England with their natural children, Susan Tapping, for the prosecution, said at Snaresbrook Crown Court, east London.

In March last year, an Islington social worker visited the child's home on the Priory Estate in Rodney Street, Miss Tapping said. The flat was 'very dirty and unhygienic'. A week later, on 17 March last year, he was taken to the Whittington Hospital with obvious swelling around the head and face and 'other skin lesions'. He was severely undersized and underweight - 'his weight was that of a ten-month-old baby', she said.

The defendants were allowed to take the baby home prior to a fuller examination at University College Hospital a week later. But when a social worker and doctor went to collect Shezul they discovered the battered baby and the couple's three children, all under four, had been left at home alone.

Miss Tapping said there were at least 14 fractures differing in severity and in time. The boy had been severely neglected and severely physically abused over a period of time. 'The fractures were literally from head to foot.'

Ali and Banu both of Reddington House, pleaded guilty to child cruelty between 1 October 1992 and 24 March last year. Judge William Monro-Davies QC, remanded them on bail until 1 July while pre-sentence reports are prepared but he warned them to 'make plans' for their three natural children as they almost inevitably face jail.