Confessed Killer Dad Points Finger Of Blame At Mom
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 8, 2005
WORTHING, ENGLAND--The man who confessed to killing his 10-year-old son because of his disability told a jury Tuesday that his wife initiated the crime.
Andrew Wragg, 37, testified that Mary Wragg knew he was going to kill Jacob, who had Hunter syndrome, when she left the home on July 24 of last year. Mr. Wragg said he told her, "It's tonight", and directed her to leave the house and take their younger son, George, with her so they would not be implicated in Jacob's death.
Mr. Wragg told how he then went upstairs, placed a pillow over his sleeping son's face, and laid down on top of him until he suffocated to death.
The jury also heard a recording of Wragg's 999 call, in which he told the dispatcher: "I have just murdered my son. I have killed him with a pillow over the face."
Wragg has pleaded not guilty to murdering Jacob. Instead, he is claiming manslaughter because of temporary mental "abnormality".
Wragg's attorney grilled Mrs. Wragg about a "do not resuscitate" order that was placed in her son's medical records three years ago. She said she consented to the order at a time when the boy was particularly ill.
"I don't see anything in this plan where it states you can hold a pillow over his face until he stops breathing," she exclaimed in court. "There's a difference between dying with dignity and murder -- I am sorry."
"This case is about Jacob and his right to life -- not about excuses for his death."
Children who have Hunter syndrome usually experience mental and physical disabilities and often die before age 20. Caregivers told the court on Monday that Jacob was "happy and active" just before he died and that he still enjoyed football, swimming and watching videos.
"He was still able to make choices and tell us which activities he enjoyed," said Pauline Swindells, a nurse who saw Jacob the week before his death.
At one point during testimony last Thursday, Mr. Wragg's defense attorney accused Mrs. Wragg of assassinating the character of her husband.
"I do not have to assassinate his character," she replied, "he murdered my child."
"Mother's court outburst" (This Is London)
"Dying son 'no excuse for murder'" (BBC News)
"Man who smothered terminally ill son says wife initiated killing" (The Telegraph)
"Terminal boy 'happy and active'" (BBC News)