ROSDEEP Adekoya trawled the web for advice on why she was unable to love her three-year-old son, Mikaeel Kular, before beating the toddler to death.
During a hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh, it emerged the 34-year-old’s internet history showed searches including “I find it hard to love my son”, “I love all of my children except one”, “Why am I so aggressive with my son” and “Get rid of bruises”.
Adekoya, who has four other children, admitted causing the youngster’s death by punching him dozens of times at his home in Ferry Gait Crescent in Drylaw.
Mikaeel was reported as missing to police, sparking a city-wide manhunt which involved hundreds of volunteers, even though Adekoya knew she had killed him.
The self-confessed party lover and beauty therapy student – whose friends included Mohammed Abdi, 25, the victim of last year’s Willowbrae gangland shooting – was originally charged with murdering the youngster, but prosecutors accepted her admission to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.
That move has sparked anger amongst a community which united to search for Mikaeel when he was first reported missing.
And with concern growing over how effectively Adekoya and her children were monitored after they moved from Kirkcaldy to the Capital, Fife social workers – who became involved with the family before the birth of Mikaeel and twin sister Ashika, now four – have pledged to carry out a “significant case review” in the wake of the tragedy.
It emerged yesterday that:
* Mikaeel died on the night of January 14 after sustaining at least 40 separate injuries which caused peritonitis and intra-abdominal haemorrhage.
* He was beaten brutally after a family meal at Nando’s in Fountainbridge.
* Adekoya’s charge was reduced from murder to culpable homicide as the assault was not deemed to have reached the necessary level of “wicked recklessness”.
* Adekoya was well known to social services and Mikaeel was put into care twice.
* Fife Council’s case review will involve police, the NHS and the city council.
The High Court heard yesterday how Adekoya repeatedly grabbed Mikaeel and punched him on the head and body between January 12 and 15 – after taking him and twin sister Ashika out for a meal with her friend, Natalie McIntyre, and then to a bowling alley.
Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC said during yesterday’s High Court hearing that Mikaeel had “misbehaved in a minor manner” and, in his mother’s opinion, had overeaten.
The lethal assault began after the group returned home, with the youngster vomiting in his bedroom as he was getting ready for bed. “The accused lost her temper and both smacked him and struck him on the body with her clenched fist,” said Mr Prentice.
Mikaeel was put to bed but was sick again, prompting Adekoya to administer another beating before changing her son. After he vomited a third time, his furious mother dragged him through to the bathroom, clutching his upper arms. He was showered in the bath while Adekoya beat him heavily on his back with her hand and fist as the helpless toddler lay over the edge.
Although in agony as a result of the blows, Mikaeel was then put back to bed.
“The accused had subjected Mikaeel to a severe beating by punching him and causing him to strike a hard surface such as the edge of the bath,” the advocate depute told the court. “He would have been in significant pain but was put to bed. As will be apparent from the pathology, the pain would have increased significantly while Mikaeel became dangerously ill and finally dying as a result of the injuries inflicted upon him by the accused.”
In the morning, Adekoya saw bruising on his arms and body. Mikaeel was sick again and sent back upstairs to change. As he went, his mother continued to beat him on his already injured back.
Worried that her son’s bruises would be noticed, Adekoya decided not to let the toddler go to nursery and also failed to seek medical help, even though it was clear Mikaeel was seriously ill.
His condition continued to deteriorate rapidly and he died from his injuries the following night. On January 15, Adekoya travelled to Fife and put Mikaeel’s body – hidden in a suitcase – in woodland to the rear of the house of her sister, Pandeer, in Dunvegan Avenue, Kirkcaldy.
Detectives later found the body of the little boy after Adekoya broke down while giving a statement and revealed the location.
The court also heard she had threatened to commit suicide after Mikaeel’s father, Zahid Saeed, who is not named on the child’s birth certificate, told her an affair between the two of them had to end.
Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC argued: “Rosdeep Adekoya is not a monster. It appears she is basically a young mother with a number of underlying problems.”
The judge, Lord Glennie, called for a background report on Adekoya, who sat through the proceedings, which lasted more than an hour, clutching a hankie, ahead of sentencing on August 25.
Her neighbours in Drylaw, meanwhile, have told of their disgust that she was spared a murder charge. Simone Evelyn, 29, said the thought of the last few days of Mikaeel’s life “made her skin crawl”.
“I could see her house from my bedroom window, and going to my bed every night was just horrendous,” she said. “To me she’s one horrible, disgusting person. She deserves everything she has coming for her.”
It has emerged child protection officers in Fife were in regular contact with Adekoya – and even put her son into foster care twice, including after she left her children home alone to go on a night out – before monitoring ceased in December last year.
Commenting on the imminent case review, John Myles, chair of Fife Council’s child protection committee, said: “We are aiming to announce the findings by December.”
Adekoya remains in custody at Stirling’s Cornton Vale jail, while the Drylaw community pursues plans to create a lasting memorial to Mikaeel.