A disabled 10-year-old boy who was allegedly killed by his mother was found dead with parts of a sponge in his throat and toys placed beside him in a bedroom, a court heard.
Dylan Freeman died after his airways were restricted, the Old Bailey was told, as his mother, Olga Freeman, appeared charged with murdering him at their home in Cumberland Park, Acton, west London, on Sunday.
The 40-year-old Russian national spoke only to confirm her name and date of birth when she appeared in the dock on Wednesday.
Dylan was found in the master bedroom of the house lying on his back covered by a duvet and, the court heard, toys had been placed beside him.
The court heard that the youngster was disabled and required 24-hour care.
Prosecutor Joel Smith said a post-mortem examination gave the cause of Dylan’s death as restriction of the airways.
Dylan’s father, the photographer Dean Freeman, who was in Spain when his ex-wife allegedly killed their son, paid tribute to the boy earlier this week.
Mr Freeman, whose work includes campaigns with Bollywood star Deepika Padukone and Hollywood actor Bradley Cooper, said in a statement on Monday: “Dylan was a beautiful, bright, inquisitive and artistic child who loved to travel, visit art galleries and swim.
“We travelled extensively over the years together, spending such memorable time in places including Brazil, France and Spain.
“I can’t begin to comprehend his loss.”
His Honour Judge Mark Lucraft QC remanded Olga Freeman, who wore a dark sweatshirt and tied her hair back during the short hearing, in custody to appear at a plea and trial preparation hearing at the Old Bailey on November 4.