Mum gets life for beating son (7) to death for failing to learn Koran by heart
Published 07/01/2013 | 13:28
A woman who beat her son to death for failing to learn parts of the Koran by heart and then burned his body to destroy the evidence has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years.
Sara Ege, 33, collapsed as the sentence was delivered at Cardiff Crown Court and had to be helped, trembling and sobbing, from the dock.
She had been praised as a "brilliant mother" to seven-year-old Yaseen but was convicted of his murder by a jury at the same court last month.
Ege, dressed in brown, with a matching headscarf, sobbed throughout the one-hour hearing today.
Trial judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams accepted that she had suffered prolonged bouts of depression due to a number of factors.
He also listened as Ege's barrister, Peter Murphy QC, spoke of the good she had done for her son, calling her "a brilliant mother".
The judge acknowledged that "in many respects she was a very good mother" but went on to highlight the crucial last three months of Yaseen's life.
"The violence that you perpetrated on your son was not confined to one day," the judge told Ege as he passed sentence.
"I am satisfied that, over three months, you beat him on a number of occasions, often with a wooden pestle.
"His injuries must have caused him a good deal of pain. In my judgment Yaseen was subjected to prolonged cruelty."
He said the evidence showed that, on the day Yaseen died, he was attacked and suffered "serious abdominal injuries".
"There is a further aggravating feature and that is that you attempted to burn Yaseen's body. There can be no doubt that you set fire to his body in an attempt to evade the consequences of what you had done."
He added: "What was your motive for acting as you did? I am satisfied that, on the day of his death, Yaseen was kept home from school so that he could dedicate himself to his (Koran) studies.
"On that day Yaseen must have failed in some way because I am satisfied that it was that failure which was the trigger for the beating.
"That is what you told the police in the course of your confession in July 2010 and I see no reason to doubt what you then said was true."
Ege was found guilty of the murder of her bright seven-year-old son by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court last month.
The schoolboy had suffered multiple injuries to his body and died in July 2010 from internal injuries caused by three months of punishing beatings.
His death was treated as a terrible tragedy in the aftermath of the blaze but it was quickly found he was dead before it was set.
Ege accused husband Yousef Ege, 38, who stood trial with his wife, of being a violent bully who beat her and was their son's real killer.
But he was cleared of causing or allowing his son's death at home in Pontcanna, Cardiff, south Wales, by failing to act to prevent it.
Ege was found guilty both of murder and of a charge of perverting the course of justice.