Mom Allegedly Confessed To Murdering Son; Public Blames Boy's
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 14, 2003
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--Last Thursday, 10-year-old Jason Dawes died, allegedly at the hands of his mother.
Police reported that Daniela Dawes told them she suffocated her son and held him until he stopped struggling. Once his breathing stopped she did not attempt CPR, police said. She allegedly did try to commit suicide.
Daniela reportedly said she killed her son, who had autism, because he was "difficult to deal with".
Daniela is being held in a jail hospital on murder charges.
The Dawes family said Tuesday that they are "behind Daniela 100 per cent".
Local media and the community are expressing sympathies -- not for Jason -- but for his alleged murderer.
Letters and emails, many from parents of children with disabilities, flooded area news offices. Most expressed outrage at authorities for jailing Daniela and keeping her from contacting her 13-year-old daughter. Many blamed the government for Jason's death because, they said, it did not provide the services the family needed to deal with the boy.
Earlier this week, Carmel Tebbutt, New South Wales' Minister for Disability Services, offered condolences to the Dawes family.
"I appreciate the enormous sorrow his family is experiencing," Tebbutt said.
"Jason did receive therapy services on an ongoing basis through on of the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care's local School Aged Therapy Teams," Tebbutt added.
The case is reminiscent of a number of cases in North America and elsewhere in which children with disabilities have been murdered by a parent. In many such cases, the parent, not the victim, receives sympathies from the public and the general media. Often the child or the government is blamed directly or indirectly for the crime.
"Mother released from jail to bury autistic son" (The Daily Telegraph)
"Let Daniela out" (The Daily Telegraph)