Mother walks free from court after strangling autistic son with belt

2 Jul

Perhaps someone can explain this case and this decision to me: Mother walks free from court after strangling autistic son with belt.

Yvonne Freaney, 50, admitted she killed her son Glen, 11, with a coat belt in an airport hotel room.

Freaney told police she killed Glen so “no one could point fingers at him” when he was in heaven.

Mother-of-four Freaney also tried to kill herself but botched her attempts to slash her wrists – and was found alive by ambulance crews.

She was cleared of murder but admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility. Judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams allowed her to walk free with a supervision order.

John Charles Rees, defending, said: “She was undoubtably a loving mother to all her children and killed Glen out of love not malice.

The mother is described as having a personality disorder and having suffered much abuse. There has to be more.

And why does the news story go into such detail about the child’s disability. Does that have anything to do with the murder? After all the description of how significant were the disabilities, the father was quoted: “The tragedy of his death still causes us great pain. He was a wonderful friendly boy and very much loved by us all and we miss him deeply.”

3 Responses to “Mother walks free from court after strangling autistic son with belt”

  1. sharon July 2, 2011 at 00:26 #

    Yes you would think there is more to this. The diminished responsibility can’t be explained by the Personality Disorder alone one would think. Perhaps there was also some other mental health issue such as a clinical depression? The decision does seem to set a concerning precedent.

  2. Autism and Oughtisms July 2, 2011 at 01:39 #

    She’d already been in custody for two years since the arrest, that was taken into account. Her personality disorder was at “the top end of the scale”, she additionally suffered from a “severe abnormality of the mind”. Not only had she been abused for a long time, she was the carer for three other “disabled” children, and her eldery mother; all evidence of the stresses she was under that may have (did) affect her mental state which was already vulnerable. The events leading up to the death were taken into account: “The series of events you went through would have been difficult for even a person of robust personality.”

    The extra information provided about the autistic son are just part of the story that has to be told here: Who was murdered, what sort of life had they lead, etc. Different reports put different levels of emphasis on the boy’s autism. I don’t read anything particularly sinister into it personally, but I do see how you might.

    She’s got to get mental health care, and has over-sights on where she lives and restrictions on her access to under 18 year olds.

    From the details I can get at, I’m left with the impression that this is just a horrendously sad story of a mentally damaged woman who took her son’s life.


  1. Autism Blog – Mother walks free from court after strangling … | My Autism Site | All About Autism - July 2, 2011

    […] See the original post here: Autism Blog – Mother walks free from court after strangling … […]

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