Mother admits killing 10-year-old disabled son during lockdown

·2-min read

A woman has admitted killing her disabled 10-year-old son after suffering a mental breakdown during lockdown.

Olga Freeman, 40, was charged with the murder of Dylan Freeman, who was found suffocated at their home in Acton, west London, on 15 August last year.

At a virtual hearing at the Old Bailey, Russian national Freeman denied her son's murder but admitted manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.

Dylan was found in the master bedroom of the house covered by a duvet and surrounded with toys.

A post-mortem gave the cause of death as restriction of the airways.

Dylan, who had been diagnosed with autism and a range of conditions which caused difficulties with communication and independence, required round-the-clock care.

He had attended a special school five days a week, but had been unable to go during the lockdown.

Freeman's lawyer, Jane Bickerstaff QC, told the court psychiatrists all agreed her responsibility at the time of the killing was diminished because she was suffering a "depressive illness with psychotic symptoms".

She suggested the appropriate sentence would be a hospital order with restrictions.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb adjourned sentencing to 11 February.

Dylan was suffocated at his home between 14 August and 17 August last year.

In the week leading up to the killing, Freeman had spoken about saving the world and being a messiah.

Previously, the court heard that her friend, Edita Surpickaja, had said Freeman had struggled to meet Dylan's needs as he got older and her mental health had suffered.

At the time of Dylan's death, his father, celebrity photographer Dean Freeman, was in Spain.

His work includes campaigns with Bollywood star Deepika Padukone and Hollywood actor Bradley Cooper.

When previously paying tribute to his son, Mr Freeman said: "Dylan was a beautiful, bright, inquisitive and artistic child who loved to travel, visit art galleries and swim."

Kristen Katsouris, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Olga Freeman had loved and cared for Dylan for many years, but the strain and pressures of her son's severe and complex special needs had built up and that, combined with her impaired mental health, led to heartbreaking consequences."