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Mum admits killing disabled son, 10, who was 'suffocated with sponge'

A mother has admitted killing her vulnerable 10-year-old son after suffering with mental health issues while struggling to take care of him during lockdown.

Olga Freeman, 40, pleaded not guilty to murdering son Dylan, who had autism and neurodevelopmental delay, during a virtual hearing at the Old Bailey on Monday. However, Freeman admitted to manslaughter.

Dylan, who had significant difficulties with language, communication and independence, was suffocated at home in Cumberland Park, Acton, sometime between August 14 and 17, last year.

In the week leading up to the boy’s death, the mother had spoken about saving the world and being a Messiah. In a voice recording she said: ‘This is my job: to sacrifice my beloved child to create a balance in this world.’

Freeman walked into Acton police station and reported herself following the killing.

When officers arrived at their home they found Dylan placed in his mother’s bed.

During a short hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court last August, it was heard that a sponge had been placed in Dylan’s mouth before he was laid down next to his toys in the bedroom.

Joel Smith, prosecuting, told the court: ‘The cause of death was found to be restriction of the airways.

‘Parts of sponge were found within the throat of the deceased.’

Kristen Katsouris, from the CPS said: ‘This was a tragic death of a child at the hands of his mother who was struggling to cope.

‘Olga Freeman had loved and cared for Dylan for many years, but the strain and pressures of her son’s severe and complex special needs had built up and that combined with her impaired mental health led to heart-breaking consequences. 

‘Our thoughts are with all those affected by this case.’

Freeman is expected to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 11 February.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow…

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