Mother admits to killing son by feeding him bleach
A distraught mother who made her 12-year-old autistic son drink a cup of bleach because she feared social services would take him away pleaded guilty to manslaughter yesterday.
Satpal Kaur Singh (44) killed her son Ajit just hours after she refused to co-operate with council staff at a meeting over his care.
But she had appeared "calm" and no one else who attended the meeting had "any concerns about her immediate behaviour", the Old Bailey heard.
Hours later she rang police to say: "I've just murdered my son and I've tried to kill myself."
The court heard that social workers at Barking and Dagenham Council had concerns about Singh in the months before she killed her son on February 9 of this year.
Singh, of Lambourne Road, Barking, East London, denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
Prosecutors accepted the plea after psychiatrists assessed that she was suffering a mental disorder. Singh was remanded in custody to be sentenced on December 13.
Richard Whittam, prosecuting, said: "This is a case of great tragedy."
He said that Manchester-born Singh feared social services were going to make an "interim care order" that would result in the boy being taken away.
Mr Whittam said Ajit "was dependant on his mother for all his needs", could not speak so had trouble communicating, and had difficulty getting around outdoors.
"There were many child protection conferences. Satpal Kaur Singh did not attend many of them but she did attend some."
Mr Whittam added: "Social services had concerns about a number of things, including Satpal's parenting skills and her lack of co-operation."
The court heard how Singh had made her son drink a cup of Domestos at around 8pm and that she had drunk some herself an hour later.
She told police that there had been voices in her head, growing louder, telling her: "You have to do it. Go for it, it's come to an end now."