Devout parents jailed over baby’s death

Devout parents jailed over baby’s death

Lengthy jail sentences have been imposed on a UK Christian couple who placed a higher value on religion than on their eight-month-old daughter’s welfare.

According to this report, Brian Kandare, 29, and Precious Kandare, 37, failed to seek medical care for the desperately ill child, Rebecca. Instead, they handed her over to a church midwife three days before she died, believing in her “supernatural healing powers”.

Mr Justice Edis, presiding over their trial at Nottingham Crown Court, jailed Mr Kandare for nine-and-a-half years and Mrs Kandare for eight years. They had both admitted manslaughter charges

Prosecuting, Jonas Hankin QC said Rebecca was “significantly underweight and severely malnourished” and that she weighed as much as a three-month-old when she died at the New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton.

Her illness was treatable and her death was preventable. It is highly unlikely that Rebecca would have died if she has been presented for medical care more than 24 hours before she collapsed.

The stark reality of this case is that the defendants placed a higher value on adherence to the church’s teachings than their daughter’s welfare.

Their church, the Apostolic Church of God in Wolverhampton, had strict views on modern healthcare with members of the congregation encouraged to speak to the church’s midwife with medical problems before seeking further help.

Members could also be excluded from certain church activities if they went to a doctor without permission, the court heard.

Hankin said it was “difficult to ascertain” why neither parent did more to maintain their daughter’s health.

Rebecca’s death was a direct consequence of a prolonged course of willful neglect, which involved a failure to provide an adequate supply of sufficiently nutritious food and denial of access to medical aid.

The symptoms of wasting and malnutrition developed over time. The defendants’ initial response was to eschew the help that was available to them from the NHS and voluntary organisations, relying instead on faith healing, ritual and the power of prayer.

He added that the defendants remained “inflexible” in their approach as Rebecca’s condition deteriorated, rejecting modern healthcare “in favour of strict adherence to the church’s teachings”.

By early January 2013, when Rebecca was febrile, having contracted a serious chest infection, there was an obvious risk that she might die if she did not receive medical aid. Still the defendants denied it to her.

The court also heard that when Rebecca died she weighed 11lb 9oz, there was no trace of food or milk in her stomach and that she was suffering from the worst case of rickets an expert has seen in his 33 year career.

Hankin said:

In prioritising their religion over their daughter’s welfare, in breach of their duty to care for her, the defendants are guilty of the most serious abuse of trust.

22 responses to “Devout parents jailed over baby’s death”

  1. Broga says:

    Religious belief is especially corrosive for those who are ignorant and gullible and lack the confidence to think for themselves. We see the appalling effects here. How many others are holding to the same toxic and perverted beliefs and being encouraged in them by their power hungry preachers?

    I haven’t seen anything on prosecutions for FGM for a while. Has this torture of girls, with its lifelong distress and pain, been kicked into the long grass yet again?

  2. Newspaniard says:

    Surely the preachers at this religious organization can be charged with something? How about removing their charitable status as they are not open to all?

  3. Stephen Mynett says:

    I am glad these two killers received lengthy sentences, that is not something to be assumed in these cases and I hope it is a step in the right direction but the first two posts make interesting points.
    I share your worries Broga, we are not doing enough about FGM, although we should be stopping all unnecessary mutilation – the argument that six million were killed by Hitler is old hat and deliberately ignoring the point, we should ban all abuse and mutilation of children.
    As for Newspaniard’s point, there seems enough evidence to try the church midwife at least, possibly other church members and this should be done. The loss of charitable status is a good move but the authorities will not have the balls to do it, they backed down against the Brethren a while back. We should also note the deaths of HIV sufferers caused by Pentecostal preachers who claim prayer and magic potions are better than genuine medicines.
    All faith-based “cures” are dangerous, many terminally so, but our politicians are still giving respect to organisations that do not deserve it. Faith is not a virtue it is an affliction and it is time it was treated as such.

  4. L.Long says:

    Deeply delusional people are DEEPLY committed to the delusion!! Not to the kids not to the spouse, only to the delusion.
    Never trust one with a child! This has been shown to be dangerous to the child many many times.

  5. barriejohn says:

    The trial continues of 14 Asian men who repeatedly raped a young teenage girl in West Yorkshire (sorry – only the tabloids seem to be carrying this story). Of course, no one is saying that they were all Muslim, but…

  6. Broga says:

    And on the radio news this morning I heard a lengthy and sympathetic interview with a Muslim spokeswoman complaining that Muslims were regarded with prejudice in the UK. She did say that not all Muslims were ISIS supporters and the innocent whole were suffering from the reputation of the violent minority.

    Perhaps the innocent majority need to make their voices heard about their views of the minority whom she said did not represent Islam. Reports about the 14 Asian men who repeatedly raped a young teenage girl produce an extreme and antagonistic reaction in me.

  7. jay says:

    From what appears to have happened in UK recently, I wonder if it would have been swept under the rug if they were Muslim.

  8. Dazed says:

    Need any more proof about the poison of religion. Now later today I will be bumping into the village CoE lady vicar – she is a happy clappy smiley shiney well scrubbed bumptious preachy righteous and evangelistic sort. I know I am going to ask her, in front of a lot of people, about the whereabouts of her all knowing caring loving God in this case. No doubt she will express her sadness and say that her heart goes out for the dead child. If she comes back with one of her usual incomprehensible platitudes about her god’s my seriousness and that the child is now in a safe and happy place I am going to call her down, with a choice but very expressive and easily understood stream of verbal abuse and demand that she passes the message onto her imf.

  9. Dazed says:

    And what about the ‘midwife’ and the church officials. Surely they need to feel the full force of the law because they failed to do the right thing and compel credulous fools to behave irresponsibly in the first place.

  10. Rob Andrews says:

    RE: 1st post:

    You’ll probably get one of 2 answers that I get.She probably won’t mention the child in a better place. That would make it seem like god wanted it.
    1) We don’t know why god works. He ways are mysterious.
    2) Irresponsible parents are to blame. (So why didn’t god intervene?)
    2.a.) You can’t judge god!

    Answer 2 doesn’t work with things like natural disasters though. So they use 2.a.

  11. Broga says:

    @Rob Andrews : Here are some “explanations” I have had over the years;

    1. The death and suffering is man made and is the price we have to pay for free will;

    2. God’s long term purpose is unknown to us and ultimately he works for our own good;

    3. We must suffer in order to mature and grow towards God; suffering has a spiritual aspect;

    4. Whatever the death or suffering those who have accepted Jesus are destined to join him in heaven.

    5. We can understand that God is both all powerful and all loving, despite suffering, by considering the paradox “prayerfully” when all will be understood.

  12. barriejohn says:

    Broga: I bet your religious friend knows this ghastly poem, which was a great favourite of the Christians whom I used to know, and quoted over and over again:


    My life is but a weaving
    Between the Lord and me;
    I may not choose the colours–
    He knows what they should be.

    For He can view the pattern
    Upon the upper side
    While I can see it only
    On this, the under side.

    Sometimes He weaves in sorrow,
    Which seems so strange to me;
    But I will trust His judgment
    And work on faithfully.

    ‘Tis He who fills the shuttle,
    And He knows what is best;
    So I shall weave in earnest,
    And leave to Him the rest.

    Not ’til the loom is silent
    And the shuttles cease to fly
    Shall God unroll the canvas
    And explain the reason why.

    The dark threads are as needed
    In the Weaver’s skilful hand
    As the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern He has planned.


  13. Stephen Mynett says:

    I think the theists understand the strength of poems like these – it is very difficult to put a constructive criticism together when you are throwing up.

  14. barriejohn says:

    “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

    Who can argue with that? It is all very mysterious and beyond our comprehension!

  15. Angela_K says:

    Sorry if I’ve said this before but if “healing prayer” actually worked, there would be no need for surgeons and doctors. And, I agree their church and so called midwife should be incarcerated too.

    Re the Muslim rapists, aren’t these “true Muslims just like the ones who bomb and behead the infidel?

  16. Christians do not believe doctors heal but that God heals by using doctors. It is a short step from that to dispensing with doctors altogether. Jesus Christ as a Pentecostal of sorts is to blame for the consequences of faith in the supernatural.

  17. AgentCormac says:

    If only the judge had seized this opportunity to show up religious practices for what they really are. So instead of saying ‘…relying instead on faith healing, ritual and the power of prayer’ he had said ‘…relying instead on blind hope derived from a worthless and unfounded belief system, adhering to nonsensical dogma and indulging in the futile, utterly ineffectual practice of appealing to the benevolence of a non-existent deity’.

  18. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: That stomach curdling poem is the ultimate cop out. The explanation comes after we are dead. I suppose one might ask- while not expecting an answer – how they know that all is for the best and they will get the answers after death.

    Bertrand Russell said somewhere – I can’t remember where – that happiness is no less happiness because it comes to an end. You could say they same for suffering.

  19. Cali Ron says:

    AC: Well said. It’s way past time for the world to call this kind of insanity what it really is.

  20. Stuart H. says:

    This would be the same Apostolic Church of God who came up with the ‘street preacher’ scam, whereby evangelicals ‘help’ the police to control folk coming out of nightclubs, and in many cases have been getting local authority funding.
    As I recall, the original charity was set up by a Ghanaian preacher who offered his services to police ‘negotiating with the community’ somewhere like Brixton, then used references from a Christian senior police officer in the area to spread his operation wider and register as a charity. It’s moved away from that since as more mainstream churches picked up on the idea around the country.
    According to a few I’ve talked to, cops so often have to defend the bible-bashers from irate drunks that, in effect, the Street Preacher phenomena has meant an increase in late night disturbances, which they then use as an argument for further funding when tapping local councils .

  21. dennis says:

    @AgentCormac perfect perfect .