Mum strangled autistic son to death, court told
A mother killed her severely autistic son by strangling him with a belt, a court heard yesterday.
Yvonne Freaney (49) admits manslaughter but denies murdering her 11-year-old son Glen at a hotel near Cardiff Airport, South Wales.
Glen's body was found in a room at the Sky Plaza Hotel in May last year. Mrs Freaney, from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, was taken to hospital with cuts to her arms and legs.
Opening the case for the prosecution at Cardiff Crown Court, Gregg Taylor said: "This is going to be a difficult case.
"The charge against Mrs Freaney is that she killed her son.
"Some time between the 12th and 16th of May she killed Glen by strangling him.
"When she was sure he was dead she laid down beside him and tried to commit suicide by slitting her wrists."
The court heard Mrs Freaney had suffered from a long history of domestic abuse and self-harm.
She left her husband in March 2010, taking Glen with her, and stayed in a series of hotels in the following weeks.
During the months leading up to Glen's death the prosecution described a "build-up of pressure" on Mrs Freaney after she was unable to find anywhere for herself and Glen to live.
The court heard that after she was arrested, Mrs Freaney said: "I had to do it, no one else would look after him. I strangled him with my belt. I put him to sleep in the early hours. I needed to join him."
The court was told Mrs Freaney said her only regret was that she hadn't taken her life.