Girl, nine, 'died after parents rejected insulin treatment': Couple refused diabetes drug because of religious or cultural beliefs, court told
Wednesday 06 October 1993
Nahkira Harris, nine, 'wasted away before her parents' very eyes', Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, said.
'She had lost one-third of her body weight. They knew the solution but they did not take it. Her death was totally unnecessary. It was totally avoidable. They watched her go downhill because of their own beliefs,' he told Nottingham Crown Court.
Dwight Harris, 32, and his wife, Beverley, 33, of Radford, Nottingham, deny the manslaughter of their daughter between 17 December 1991 and 1 February 1992. They also deny child cruelty.
Mr Joyce said the parents took their daughter to see Mary Phillips, a GP, on 18 December 1991. She diagnosed diabetes and recommended treatment but six weeks later Nahkira was dead. 'The prosecution case is that her death was the criminal fault of her parents,' Mr Joyce added. Dr Phillips said Nahkira needed hospital treatment with insulin and she was admitted to the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham.
But the parents told doctors they did not believe in their daughter receiving insulin although they were warned: 'Without insulin your child will die.' The parents discharged her from hospital against the advice of doctors but took her back on 31 January.
Mr Joyce said they ignored advice to return her to hospital and sought homeopathic remedies instead. When Nahkira was eventually returned she was in a coma and later died. Mr Joyce told the jury: 'Whether it is a matter of religious belief or cultural belief does not matter. The parents had been told that without insulin their child would die.'
The jury was told how doctors at the hospital told the Harris couple that insulin was necessary to treat their daughter's diabetes.
Mr Joyce said: 'A doctor explained that she needed treatment at once and she explained to them that insulin was the treatment and the cure.
'It was apparent from conversations between the parents and a doctor that they did not believe in Nahkira receiving insulin.
'They would not leave her bedside. A doctor took considerable trouble to explain that the only treatment for a child with diabetes was insulin. She asked to talk to them away from Nahkira but they would not leave her.'
The jury heard that the couple later claimed to police that they had been inconsiderately treated by doctors at the hospital.
'Be that as it may, they did not take her anywhere else.'
The trial continues today.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing cloud based I...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Product Marketing Manager...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding B2B exhibition and...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading manufacturer of re...