Thursday 14 December 2017

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

Hazel Waters and Muhammad Hassan Khan (inset)
Hazel Waters and Muhammad Hassan Khan (inset)

Andrew Phelan

The family of Hazel Waters, who stabbed her two year old son to death with scissors during a psychotic episode, have said they are “double victims” of the tragedy.

Waters’ sister Olivia also told the Central Criminal Court she felt anger, asking why the services “could not have done more to intervene.”

She was delivering a victim impact statement during a sentencing hearing after Waters (47) pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her son Hassan (2).

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy adjourned sentencing to June 1, after hearing the victim impact statements, as well as evidence from psychiatrists on behalf of both the prosecution and the defence.

“Our family are double victims in this tragedy,” Olivia Waters said, telling the court they had lost their nephew and their sister. It was a “double blow that we have never fully recovered from,” she said.

They had had to deal with a range of emotions including guilt - asking “could we have done more?”, anger - “why couldn’t the services have done more to intervene when they knew there was a problem?” and shame - at the media coverage.

Their parents had passed away and “we wonder if it’s probably better for them, they are spared the torment of living through this,” she continued.

“Our family will never be the same again, we are broken hearted that this happened.”

However she said, they “will never blame Hazel” and this would never have happened if she was in her right mind. She had loved her son and if anything was overprotective, she said.

What happened created rifts that “may never fully be resolved.” They would continue to support their sister in her recovery.

“There is no happy ending to this story,” she added.

The accused’s older son Jessie said his mother was “extremely attentive and protective” and he would continue to do all he could for her in her recovery. His statement was also read out to the court by Olivia Waters.

The rest of the victim impact statements were read by Luan O Braonain SC, for the prosecution.

In his statement, Hassan’s father Saleem Khan said he had suffered depression, had been unable to work, was bedridden, and had moved back to Pakistan.

As well as losing his family, he said he lost his business and his ability to practice as a doctor. Although he had been “devastated” he “still chose to forgive her for this hideous crime.”

He thanked Robert Waters and family for putting a gravestone on his son’s grave.

Robert Waters, the accused’s brother, said the loss of his nephew, Hassan, was something he would “never recover from.”

His family had enjoyed having the child in their house and Hassan had enjoyed being there, from the smiles on his face and his “gales of laughter,” he recalled.

The death had had a severe emotional effect on his children and had destroyed his extended family. He hoped in time they could recover from this.

“We hope to regain some sense of normality while still holding our beautiful memories alive,” he said.

His wife Maria Waters said her statement Hassan had been a “lovely, happy little two and a half year old with a gorgeous smile and beautiful big brown eyes.”

She had been “devastated and heartbroken,” not only for Hassan but for Hazel.

The accused had been a good mother who “truly adored” Hassan and even today she felt a sense of disbelief at what happened.

She spoke of “the pain he must have felt” and the “terrible image of him being left alone to die.”

Maria Waters also wrote in her victim impact statement of Hassan’s “tiny little body” being buried in the Muslim way, without a coffin, but wrapped in a sheet. She said the sheet had been pulled up over his chin.

“It was only later I found out that the injuries were to his neck,” she said.

The whole community, including children at his school had been affected by his death.

“We will never recover from this very difficult situation and I don’t think we will ever understand,” she said.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News