Four-year-old boy said ‘please don’t kill me’ as mother drowned him, court told
A four-year-old boy said “mummy, please don’t kill me” as his mentally ill mother drowned him, a court has heard.
Oluwakemi Badare, 37, who has paranoid schizophrenia, was given a hospital order after a jury found she had deliberated drowned her “much-loved” son Kingswealth in the bath on December 27 2020.
Badare (pictured), who later confessed to an attempt to drown Kingswealth three years earlier, gave conflicting accounts when she called emergency services to her home in Plumstead, south-east London.
Judge Richard Marks QC, sentencing at the Old Bailey, told her: “Kingswearth was greatly loved and very well cared for by you.”
He told her “this tragedy occurred” when she was “extremely unwell” and had stopped taking her medication.
The judge said: “Given the events of 2017 and your overwhelming mental health issues, one cannot help wondering that with closer supervision and if your illness had been better managed this tragedy might have been averted.”
The court heard that after she had been arrested, Badare told a nurse that Kingswealth had said “mummy, please don’t kill me”.
When Kingswealth died Badare called emergency services and told the operator she had killed her son by drowning, but also claimed she had left him in the bath and forgotten about him.
Paramedics found his wet body at the top of the stairs outside the bathroom.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said Kingwealth had scratches, bruises and skin defects on his head, neck and upper body “consistent with pressure from fingernails and focal pressure to the head”.
The marks suggested Kingswealth had been held under the water and drowned deliberately.
A pathologist later found his death was due to drowning and said that given his age, there would have been no reason why he would have been incapable of getting out of the bath unaided if he had been left alone.
Badare, who came to the UK from Nigeria in 2009, had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia for 10 years and received treatment in the community.
In 2017, she suffered a relapse and while in hospital she told a nurse she had held Kingswealth under water for less than a minute when she believed she was under surveillance.
Mr Atkinson told jurors: “Of course there is only the defendant’s own account of that attempt to drown her son in 2017 and it relates to a time when she was very unwell.
“However, it was recorded by the hospital and child care services in 2017.
“Moreover, the defendant repeated her account of what she had done when she was spoken to by a nurse, this time a custody nurse at the police station after her arrest for the death of her son in 2020.”
The prosecution suggested it was unlikely to be a coincidence that Badare should try to drown her son in 2017 when she was unwell, and that he drowned by accident rather than by an act of his mother when she was unwell again in 2020.
Badare was unfit to stand trial for murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.
Instead, jurors were asked to consider whether she did the acts alleged: either than she drowned Kingswealth deliberately or that he died by accident.
The jury deliberated for nearly nine hours and found she had intentionally killed her son.
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