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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August, 2003, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Fruit diet mother found dead
Brighton Pier
Hazmik Manuelyan's body was found floating near Brighton Pier
A woman whose nine-month-old baby died after being fed a fruit-only diet, has been found dead in the sea.

Hazmik Manuelyan, 47, was found floating in the water by Brighton Pier on Wednesday afternoon.

In 2001, she and her husband faced manslaughter charges at the Old Bailey after the death of their daughter Areni.

They pleaded guilty to child cruelty. The manslaughter charges, which they denied, were ordered to lie on file.

Mrs Manuelyan, who was originally from Armenia, lived in Staines in Surrey with her husband Garabet.

Ignored repeated warnings

Their two other children, a boy and a girl, were taken into care around the time of the September 2001 court case.

Areni died from a chest infection caused by severe malnutrition in July 2000.

She weighed about two-thirds of her expected weight for her age.

Mr and Mrs Manuelyan had been vegans, but said they had become convinced in 1996 that a fruitarian diet of raw fruit, its juices and nuts was the healthiest option for their family.

Garabet Manuelyan, the dead woman's husband
Mrs Manuelyan's husband Garabet was charged alongside her

Their trial in 2001 heard they ignored repeated warnings by health professionals that their children were not getting vital nutrients.

The Manuelyan family moved to Spain, believing the extra vitamin D they would get from the sunshine would help them, but they moved back to England when Areni became seriously ill.

Judge David Paget told them the girl's death resulted from their "extreme and misguided belief".

The couple were placed under a community rehabilitation order for three years.

Mrs Manuelyan's body was found in the sea on Wednesday afternoon and Sussex Police said she was identified that night.

They said a post-mortem examination was due to take place on Friday and that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Baby death parents spared jail
14 Sep 01  |  Health

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