Father Tells Court About Killing Son, 10
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 6, 2005
EAST SUSSEX, ENGLAND--In testimony last Friday and this Tuesday, Andrew Wragg described how and why he killed his 10-year-old son, Jacob.
Wragg, 38, told the jury in Lewes Crown Court that on evening of July 24, 2004, he sent his wife and their son George away. Then he went into Jacob's room, placed a pillow over his face, and "lay on top of him until he passed away".
"It wasn't long," he said.
Wragg told the court that after he felt no more movement from his son, he stayed with the boy's dead body and spoke to him.
"I tried to explain to him that it was the best thing for him."
Wragg confessed to police that he killed his son, but claimed it was a "mercy killing" to keep the boy from suffering from Hunter syndrome. Children who have Hunter syndrome experience mental and physical disabilities and seldom live into their twenties.
A military security specialist, Wragg also claimed that he was under stress after returning from the war in Iraq. He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished capacity.
"I felt it was the best thing that could happen to Jacob and I believe Jacob believed that too," he testified.
Wragg said that when he told his wife, Mary, what he had done, she returned home, hugged him as both of them cried, and then poured out some wine.
Wragg also told the court that his wife understood that he was going to kill Jacob earlier that night.
The couple have since divorced. Mrs. Wragg told the court earlier that she did not know her husband planned to kill the boy. She also testified that Mr. Wragg poured drinks and tried to toast their son's death. She said her son had been cheerful earlier in the day.
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".
The trial continues this week. Wragg's first trial in March deadlocked after 11 days of testimony and 11 hours of deliberation.
"Accused father tells how terminally ill son died" (The Guardian)
"Father relives moment he killed disabled son" (The Times)
"Murder accused 'worshipped' son" (BBC News)
"Jacob Wragg: Dad Admitted Killing Son Because of His Disability" (Inclusion Daily Express)