Wales

Mother Yvonne Freaney admits killing autistic son Glen

Glen Freaney
Image caption Yvonne Freaney has admitted her son Glen's manslaughter but denies murdering him

A mother admitted killing her 11-year-old autistic son hours after his body was discovered at a hotel near Cardiff Airport, a court has been told.

Yvonne Freaney, aged 49, told police she strangled her son Glen with her belt and tried to kill herself, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

He was found at the Sky Plaza Hotel in Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan, last May.

Mrs Freaney, from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, denies murder but admits manslaughter. The trial continues.

The court heard that Mrs Freaney had suffered from a long history of domestic abuse and self-harm, and lived in "dirty and cluttered" conditions.

She had left her husband in March 2010, taking Glen with her, staying in a series of hotels in the following weeks.

Gregg Taylor QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Glen was a severely autistic boy who still wore nappies and needed help dressing, washing and feeding.

He said Mrs Freaney was suffering a "build-up of pressure" after her marriage came to an end and she was unable to find anywhere for herself and Glen to live.

Mr Taylor said when police and paramedics were called to the hotel they found the boy dead and Ms Freaney bleeding at the wrist.

While she was being treated she confessed to killing her son.

"I strangled him - I used my belt," she had told police.

'Filled with problems'

"Glen was severely autistic - he's in heaven now and he won't be autistic in heaven.

"I understand I had to do it, no-one else would look after him.

"I've sent him to the kingdom of heaven. He was laughing when I strangled him."

Ms Freaney, who has three other children with her husband, had left a number of letters intending them to be read after she had committed suicide, the court heard.

She wrote to her 14-year-old son: "You may not understand what has happened but just think of it as I am finally getting rest.

"I wish you good luck and I am sure you will have a brilliant future and I would be very proud of you."

The jury was told how Ms Freaney's marriage was "filled with problems."

Mr Taylor said: "When they lived together they had problems which revolved around employment, alcohol consumption on her part as well as his, and violence from both parties."

Police were called several times to the family home after alleged incidents of domestic violence.

Ms Freaney was seen by doctors several times for injuries but never pressed charges against her husband, the court heard.

Social services became involved with the family after a police officer described their home as "uninhabitable."

Mr Taylor said: "There was rubbish strewn from floor to ceiling and you couldn't get in the kitchen for rubbish. Police said it was most cluttered house they had ever seen."