Sunday 23 July 2017

Mum who stabbed son to death with scissors thought he was 'fake child'

Hazel Waters pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her two-year-old son Hassan
Hazel Waters pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her two-year-old son Hassan

Andrew Phelan

A beautician stabbed her toddler son to death with a pair of scissors while suffering from a delusion that he was a 'clone', a court has heard.

Hazel Waters (47) left the body of two-year-old Hassan at her apartment and went to her sister-in-law's house, where gardaí were called. Officers then went to Waters's home to find the child in his bedroom with scissors in his neck and his mother's bloody footprint beside the body.

The Central Criminal Court heard Waters, a "devoted mother", had an emotionally unstable personality disorder, was under extreme stress and had suffered a psychotic episode when she killed her son. Psychiatrists said while she was not considered insane in law, her mental state left her with diminished responsibility at the time of the killing.

In a victim impact statement, her sister Olivia said the family were "double victims" of the tragedy, and they had never fully recovered.

She questioned "why couldn't the services have done more to intervene when they knew there was a problem?"

Distressed

Waters, of Ridge Hall, Ballybrack, Dublin, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Muhammad Hassan Khan between October 15 and 16, 2014. Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy adjourned her sentence hearing to June 1.

Detective Sergeant Joe O'Hara said when Waters went to the home of her sister-in-law Maria Waters she was in a distressed state.

When asked where Hassan was, she said "they had taken him". She was unable to say who they were or where he was.

There had been a previous CRI child safety alert and gardaí were called. When gardaí went inside Waters's apartment, it was in disarray, with a lot of material that had been torn and put into bags. The body of the child was found in his bedroom. He had a pair of scissors in his neck, to the left-hand side.

Read more: 'Our family are double victims in this tragedy' - Broken hearted family of mum who stabbed son (2) to death

Staining from what appeared to be blood splattering was on Waters's jeans.

The accused did not recall the events of the killing. In a text to her older son Jessie on the morning Hassan died, she had said "they are coming for me now. Hassan is a fake child and they are making people and children to look the same".

A social worker had tried to contact her up to the morning of the killing, when she could not gain access to the apartment.

When told she was suspected of her son's murder, Waters said she would never hurt him.

"I definitely did not harm my son," she told gardaí. "I would never harm him."

"When asked about his death, she was unable to recall, or did not wish to recall," Luán Ó Braonáin SC, prosecuting, said.

Waters could not recall sending the text to Jessie, and asked why she would mention cloning, she said: "I have no idea."

She had scrapes on her face and when asked how she got them she said: "I have no idea."

The court heard Waters had begun acting strangely before the killing.

She had been in a relationship with Hassan's father Saleem Khan since 2008 and alleged it was abusive both mentally and physically on occasion.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Khan said he had returned to Pakistan and forgave his wife "for this hideous crime".

Irish Independent

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