Mother jailed for life for beating son to death for not learning Qur’an http://m.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jan/07/mother-jailed-life-son-quran
A mother who beat her seven-year-old son to death for failing to learn the Qur’an by heart and then burned his body in an attempt to hide her crime has been jailed for life.
Sara Ege, 33, collapsed and had to be helped sobbing from the dock after being told on Monday she would serve 17 years before she could be considered for parole.
Cardiff crown court heard that Ege treated her son Yaseen “like a dog” when he struggled to memorise passages of the holy book of Islam. She beat him on the hands and his body until he collapsed on the floor of his bedroom and died.
Ege used barbecue lighting gel to set fire to the boy’s body to try to conceal what she had done. Initially emergency services believed he had been killed in a fire at the family home in Pontcanna, Cardiff.
But a postmortem revealed he had died before the fire had begun and had suffered multiple injuries to his body caused by three months of physical punishment.
The jury was told that Ege and her husband, taxi driver Yousef Ege, 38, enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at a local mosque because they wanted him to become Hafiz – someone who memorises the Qur’an.
As a child, Ege had herself committed large sections of the book to memory and entered competitions to demonstrate her ability. But she became increasingly frustrated when her son was unable to do as well as she expected and began beating him.
Following her arrest, Ege, a mathematics graduate, confessed to killing her son.
She told police she was “getting angry too much”, adding: “I would shout at Yaseen all the time. I was getting very wild and I hit Yaseen with a stick on his back like a dog.”
Ege said she frequently promised herself that she would stop attacking her son but could not resist beating him. She claimed she had been urged on by the devil and bad spirits. At one point she believed the stick she used to punish her son was possessed by an evil spirit.
A teaching assistant at the boy’s school noticed that his handwriting was deteriorating and discovered he was using his left hand because it was too painful for him to use his right. On another occasion Ege was called into school because he was in too much pain to sit. She moved him to a new school.
On the day her son died she told police he collapsed on the floor of his bedroom after she had beaten him and, half-conscious, continued to recite from the Qur’an.
Ege said: “He was breathing as if he was asleep when I left him. He was still murmuring the same thing over and over again. I thought that he was just tired.”
She forced him to drink milk; and when she went back to him he was shaking and shivering. She did not seek medical help and the boy died. The woman then used barbecue lighting gel to set fire to his body.
Ege later retracted her account of what had happened and claimed her husband and his family had forced her to make the confession. She accused her husband, who stood trial with her, of being a violent bully and the real killer.
Yousef Ege was cleared of causing or allowing his son’s death by failing to act to prevent it. Sara Ege was found guilty of the murder, which took place in July 2010, and perverting the course of justice.