Devoutly religious Erith mother admits killing five-month-old son

News Shopper: Virginia Kunene Virginia Kunene

A DEVOUTLY religious mother from Erith admitted killing her baby son through neglect in court today (Jan 14).

Virginia Kunene, 32, of Carlton Road, admitted causing the death of five-month-old Ndingeko Kunene who died of rickets in June 2012.

Rickets is a softening of bones due to deficiency of vitamin D, phosphorus or calcium.

Her husband Nkosiyapha Kunene, 46, is also accused of killing his child but did not attend the hearing at the Old Bailey.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said: "This is clearly a tragic case. There came a time when it was obvious her son required medical assistance and there was a real possibility of death.

"Because of the diet she adhered to, the child became unwell. There may have been insufficient support about the health of the child but there were warning from the family."

The couple was arrested after the baby died on June 14, 2012.

They were later charged with manslaughter and cruelty to a child between January 2012 and June 2012.

Virginia admitted manslaughter but denies child cruelty.

Nkosiyapha, also of Carlton Road, denies both the charges against him.

The defendants were born in Zimbabwe although Virginia is now a British citizen.

The Kunenes have been granted conditional bail ahead of the next hearing - which is yet to be fixed.

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