A COMPANY has admitted to supplying feed that caused the death of three babies.

ITH Pharma, a pharmaceutical company has admitted supplying contaminated feed for premature babies that allegedly caused a death of nine-day-old Yousef Al-Kharboush.

Tameria Aldrich also died nine days after Yousef on June 10 after being transferred to St Thomas’ from Broomfield hospital in Chelmsford, with twin sister Tia surviving.

An investigation was launched after the three babies, including Yousef, died and another 20 needed treatment when they developed Bacillus Cereus bacteraemia linked to ITH Pharma’s supply of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) to 14 hospitals in 2014.

The infants were given the fluid as nutrition because they were unable to feed on their own between May 27 and June 2, 2014.

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Adrian Darbishire QC, on behalf of ITH Pharma, entered guilty pleas to three offences at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.

The three pleas include failing to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment between, and two charges of supplying a medicinal product which was not of the nature or quality specified in the prescription.

ITH Pharma said in a statement: “We at ITH Pharma wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the patients affected by the events of eight years ago.

“The events of May 27 2014 were wholly exceptional and, on June 5 2014, the MHRA Inspection Action Group confirmed that having considered all the information available, including the company’s changes to manufacturing practice for parenteral nutrition products, it did not recommend regulatory action against the company.”

Judge Deborah Taylor will decide the issue over a two-day sentencing hearing on April 28.

Mark Heywood QC said ITH Pharma’s pleas were “acceptable” to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and “meet the justice in the case”.

Vicki Golden, the mother of Tameria Aldrich left the court in tears.

Ms Golden’s godmother Joanne Bartlett, had already stormed out of court as Mr Darbishire said: “These offences occurred eight years ago and the company has been and continues to be a trusted supplier of TPN for the NHS.”

Speaking to reporters, she branded the case “absolutely disgraceful”, adding: “I’m disgusted with ITH Pharma and the CPS.

“They ought to be ashamed of themselves. They threw the police under the bus.”

Debbie Jeffrey, a Senior Specialist Prosecutor in the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “This is a truly tragic case that has impacted the lives of many.

"The company’s failure to conduct a sufficient risk assessment exposed already vulnerable babies to risks that should have been avoided.

“It is right that ITH Pharma have admitted their criminal liability in providing a product that was not of the nature and quality suitable for distribution to hospitals across the country.

"The contamination in the nutritional medicine caused 19 vulnerable babies to be infected with a dangerous bacteria.

“I hope today’s convictions will bring some semblance of closure to the many families who have been affected by this tragedy.”

On the pleas entered, a CPS spokesman also said: “The pleas we have accepted from ITH Pharma provide the court with sentencing powers to address this serious offence to the full extent of the law.

Our thoughts remain with all the families affected by this tragic case.”