Mother Testifies Killer Father Was Embarrassed At Son's Disability
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 2, 2005
WORTHING, ENGLAND--Jurors this week are hearing testimony in the case of a military security specialist who admitted killing his 10-year-old son because of his disability.
Andrew Wragg, 37, told police he killed his son, Jacob, on July 24 of last year. He called it a "mercy killing" in order to keep the boy from suffering from Hunter syndrome. Children that have Hunter syndrome usually experience mental and physical disabilities and often die before age 20.
Wragg confessed immediately to suffocating Jacob, saying the boy wanted him to do it. He said he was worried about what his son's quality of life would be as a teenager. He is asking that he be convicted of manslaughter rather than murder because of his own mental condition at the time. Police measured Wragg's blood alcohol level at 3 1/2 times the legal driving limit at the time of his arrest.
Prosecutors argue that Wragg plotted to end Jacob's life, even telling his wife and friends that he planned to smother him with a pillow, because he was frustrated that his son was no longer able to recognize and communicate with him.
"I felt it was something he said to deal with the difficulty of the situation and the fact that he felt powerless to be able to provide an answer or a solution to the problem," Jacob's mother, Mary, told the court Wednesday.
Mary Wragg, 41, testified that her son was not suffering in any way on the days before he died.
"On the day of his death, he was active and strong," she explained. "He was happy. He was just Jacob."
She said that during most of her son's short life, she was left alone to take care of him and get him back and forth to doctors and hospitals, in part because her husband "did not like ill people" and was embarrassed at having a son with a disability.
Jacob's death is reminiscent of other cases of "altruistic filicide", when a parent kills a child -- usually one with disabilities -- claiming the death is in the child's best interest.
Father accused of murder 'disliked ill people
Son embarrassed 'killer' (The Sun)
"SAS soldier spoke of killing terminally ill son" (The Times)
"Crimes Against Children With Disabilities" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)