Prosecutors: Wragg Will Again Face Murder Charges For Killing
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 20, 2005
WORTHING, ENGLAND--The man who admitted killing his 10-year-old son because of his disabilities will face a retrial beginning November 15, the Crown Prosecution Service said Tuesday.
A jury last month deadlocked over whether to convict Andrew Wragg of murder for killing his son Jacob, who had Hunter syndrome. That jury could not reach a unanimous vote after an 11-day trial and 11 hours of deliberation, and said they doubted if they could reach agreement given more time.
Wragg, 37, confessed to smothering Jacob to death with a pillow last July 24, but claimed it was a 'mercy killing' to keep the boy from suffering from Hunter syndrome.
Children who have Hunter syndrome usually experience mental and physical disabilities and seldom live past age 20. Jacob was blind, could not speak, and walked only on his tiptoes at the time of his death. Witnesses testified, however, that he was happy and active just before his father killed him.
During the trial, prosecutors said that Wragg plotted to end Jacob's life. Wragg's friends and his wife, Mary, testified that he told them he would use a pillow to end his son's life because he was frustrated that Jacob no longer recognized him.
Wragg, a military security specialist, claimed that he was under stress after returning from the Iraq war. He also testified that his wife was in on the plot and that he would not have killed the child without her approval.
Wragg is still charged with murder and is not allowed to see his 7-year-old son or Mary Wragg, whom he divorced last year, without supervision.
If prosecutors had chosen to take no action on the murder charge, Wragg would automatically have been convicted of manslaughter because of his own 'diminished capacity' at the time of the killing.
Jacob's death is one of many cases of 'altruistic filicide', in which a parent kills a child -- often one with disabilities -- claiming the death is 'for the child's own good'.
"'Mercy killing' father to face new trial" (The Scotsman)