A mother who killed her Autistic son by strangling him in a hotel room has been cleared of murder.
Yvonne Freaney, 49, took her 11 year old son Glen when she fled the family home, after years of domestic violence. The pair stayed in hotels, while Yvonne tried to find somewhere suitable for them to live.
She strangled Glen with a coat belt as the pair lay on the bed. When police arrived at the Sky Plaza hotel, they found Glen fully dressed, with cuddly toys in his arms. Freaney had slit her own wrists. She admitted guilt as soon as the police arrived, telling them; “I strangled him. He’s in heaven now, where he won’t be autistic, he’ll be happy.”
Glen was described as a severely autistic boy who needed help with dressing, washing and eating, and still wore a nappy. He could not speak or read, and used a specialized voicebox system to speak. His teachers described him as an active, energetic and happy boy, but one who would need one-to-one care for the rest of his life.
During the trial, the jury was shown a suicide letter written to Glen’s older brother, Ross, in which Freaney had said; “Please, please, I beg of you, don’t grow up to be like your father. Even though I’m not there – please try to forgive me. Lots of love and eternal hugs, Mummy.”
Sky News reported they were also shown text messages Freaney’s husband had sent to a friend.
“Yes I’m a wife-beater and proud of it, she deserves it.”
Freaney denied Glen’s murder throughout the trial, but admitted to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
She underwent medical testing which showed that she did not suffer from a personality disorder, but was terrified Social Services would take her children away from her.
Freaney was detained in custody for sentencing on June 10th 2011.