Mikaeel Kular’s killer mum jailed for 11 years

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Rosdeep Adekoya, 34, who last month admitted killing her three-year-old son Mikaeel Kular, has been jailed for 11 years at the High Court in Edinburgh.

She lost her temper and killed the toddler after he was repeatedly sick following a family day out at a Nando’s restaurant in January.

Rosdeep Adekoya killed Mikaeel Kular.

Rosdeep Adekoya killed Mikaeel Kular.

After discovering his body on the floor of their Edinburgh home, she wrapped it in a duvet cover, concealed it in the suitcase and drove 25 miles to Fife to hide it in woodland.

A major search was launched for the youngster after she called 999 and reported him missing in an effort to conceal the crime.

She finally broke down and admitted to police: “It was an accident and I panicked.”

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Adekoya was charged with Mikaeel’s murder but pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of culpable homicide at the High Court in Edinburgh, where she is due to be sentenced today.

She admitted a separate charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by pretending to police he had gone missing.

Defence QC Brian McConnachie also urged Lord Glennie to impose a lenient sentence on Adekoya.

Wearing a black cardigan, glasses and burgundy jeans, the killer wept uncontrollably as Lord Glennie said he understood that she expressed remorse for her horrible crime.

He added: “What you did was cruel and inexcusable. Striking a child even once is bad enough. Striking him heavily and repeatedly with hand and fist when he was being sick again and again simply beggars belief.

“Mikaeel was by all accounts a healthy happy little boy. By your actions, however unintended, you have not only robbed Mikaeel of his young life but left a gaping hole in the lives of all who loved him.

“I accept that your remorse is genuine and heartfelt. You are clearly an intelligent and articulate young woman. There is no history of violence by you towards any of your children. That makes it all the more difficult to understand your actions. I do not suppose that you really understand why you did what you did.

“In those circumstances a custodial sentence is inevitable.”

The court heard Adekoya’s internet history showed searches including “I find it hard to love my son”, “Why am I so aggressive with my son” and “Get rid of bruises”.

Mikaeel died on the night of Tuesday January 14 from injuries inflicted the previous Sunday following the restaurant outing.

He was smacked and struck on the body and head with a clenched fist after vomiting repeatedly.

Adekoya, a prisoner at Cornton Vale prison, Stirling, dragged him to the shower by his arms and “beat him heavily” on his back as he lay over the bath edge, causing internal damage.

He was kept off nursery as his condition deteriorated and by Tuesday night he was “listless”.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice told the court: “He would have been in significant pain but was put to bed.

“The pain would have increased significantly while Mikaeel became dangerously ill ... finally dying as a result of the injuries inflicted upon him by the accused.

“It was during that night that he died.”

Adekoya put her son’s body in a suitcase which she carried to the boot of her car, before taking his twin sister to nursery.

She left the suitcase in woodland behind her sister’s house in Dunvegan Avenue, Kirkcaldy, covering it with branches.

Inconsistencies began to appear in her account of events to police after she reported her son missing on Thursday morning and she eventually broke down and took them to his body.

The final cause of Mikaeel’s death was found to be “blunt force abdominal trauma” and the court heard he had more than 40 separate injuries to his body.

Mr McConnachie told the court: “Rosdeep Adekoya is not a monster.”

“It appears from every source ... that this has been a brief period when this young woman has lost her temper and behaved in a way which is totally out of character for her.”

John Dunn, Procurator Fiscal for the East of Scotland, said: “There can be few crimes more shocking than a parent killing their child.

“From the outset of the case, and working closely with the Police, the Crown has led an extremely thorough investigation in to the circumstances surrounding Mikaeel’s death.

“All of the facts and circumstances of the case were carefully considered by Crown Counsel.

“Having considered all the evidence in the case, including that of expert pathologists, Crown Counsel concluded that pleas of guilty to charges of culpable homicide and attempting to defeat the ends of justice were appropriate.”

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham, lead officer for Police Scotland on Major Crime and Public Protection, said: “Police Scotland’s thoughts and condolences today remain with Mikaeel’s family, following the sentencing of his mother who admitted causing his death.

“The sudden death of any child as the result of the actions of another is always difficult to come to terms with and reverberates through entire communities. Mikaeel died through injuries sustained over a period of time inflicted by the very person who should have been there to care for him.

“Police Scotland began a significant missing person inquiry when Mikaeel was reported missing to us by Rosdeep Adekoya. That was assisted greatly by members of the community who came out in their hundreds to look for Mikaeel, whilst at the height of our searches over 300 officers and staff including mountain rescue experts and dog units were actively looking for him. Our inquiry led to the activation of Child Rescue Alert, such was the concern for his well-being, and significant resources were utilised from across Police Scotland’s territorial and specialist divisions as well as partner agencies.

“Sadly, the circumstances in which Mikaeel was discovered revealed that these efforts were in vain. I would once again like to extend my most sincere thanks to the public for the help they provided and reiterate that today my thoughts are with Mikaeel’s family and those who knew him.”

Passing sentence, Lord Glennie told Adekoya that he would have sent her to prison for 15 years if she hadn’t pleaded guilty and had gone to trial.

He added: “Both the Social Work Report and the psychological report make it clear that you have suffered from depression for some time, and particularly in the last few months before Mikaeel’s death. This has been characterised by a low mood, stress and lack of motivation. You have found yourself overwhelmed by your circumstances, without any adequate coping strategies.

“This is by no means unusual for someone in your position as, in effect, a single mother with the responsibility of looking after the children - or at least the two youngest.

“But in addition, for reasons set out in the psychological report which I do not propose to recite in any detail here, it is clear that the normal bond between mother and child simply failed to develop between you and Mikaeel, though it clearly developed with the other children.

“The reasons are complex, and relate in part to the time when the children were being well cared for by foster carers and the help you needed from your sister when taking them back into your care. This helps explain the internet searches which you conducted between September 2013 and January 2014.

“You clearly recognised the lack of a close maternal bond with Mikaeel, to the extent of searching on the internet for some understanding of why you did not love him in the same way as you loved your other children and of why you always felt angry with him. You clearly needed help, but did not know how to ask for it.

“As Mr McConnachie accepts, none of that excuses your action. I accept that you have no record of any significance; that there is no history of lasting or recurrent neglect; that this assault on Mikaeel appears to have been wholly out of character; that you had no intention to kill or any thought that your actions might have that effect; that your mental state played a significant part in what happened; and that your remorse is entirely genuine.

“But none of that takes away from the fact that you are responsible by your actions for the death of your young son. Prison will not bring Mikaeel back; but society must express its condemnation of your actions in the form of a lengthy prison sentence.”

She wept as she was handcuffed and taken to the cells from the dock.

An independent significant case review is to be held after it emerged social services had stopped monitoring the family weeks before Mikaeel’s death.