Single mother allegedly murdered autistic son with bleach

A single mother has been arrested for allegedly murdering her “severely autistic” son by poisoning him with bleach. Emergency services went to the family home in Barking, east London, after she dialled 999 on Tuesday night.

It has been claimed that social services were involved with her children, and may have been preparing to intervene.

The woman, 44, was arrested on suspicion of murder following medical examinations.

A second boy, aged 11, was also discovered at the property, unharmed. He has been placed in care of social services.

A neighbour yesterday said the mother had lived in the area for five years, he added: “One of her sons was autistic and could be very difficult to handle.

“It meant she was under a lot of strain and I know she often didn’t get much sleep.”

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Child Abuse Major Investigation Team are responsible for the inquiry.

It is understood that the dead boy also had visible injuries and a post-mortem examination was due to take place later. Police believe he died after ingesting domestic bleach.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Officers from the Child Abuse Major Investigation Team are investigating.

“The woman who called police was also taken to an east London hospital where she was assessed, and later released from medical care.

“She was subsequently arrested in connection with the death and taken into custody at an east London police station where she remains.

“A second child, 11 years, was taken to hospital as a precaution but was uninjured and is now in the care of the Social Services.

“The death is being treated as murder.”