THOUSANDS of people have signed a “Justice for Mikaeel” petition protesting at the failure of prosecutors to pursue a murder charge against Rosdeep Adekoya for killing her son.
Adekoya, 34, admitted causing the death of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular by punching him dozens of times at his home in Ferry Gait Crescent in Drylaw.
Although she was originally charged with murder, her guilty plea to the reduced charge of culpable homicide was accepted by the Crown last week.
The assault was not deemed to have reached the level of “wicked recklessness” required for a murder conviction. She is due to be sentenced on August 25.
But members of the local community – many of whom took part in the extensive search for Mikaeel after he was reported missing – are outraged that such horrific violence towards a toddler could now end with Adekoya receiving a lesser sentence.
Julie Macleod, a grandmother of three, launched the online petition to give a voice to that anger – and in just three days, it has attracted more than 4000 signatures.
She said: “I live two streets away from where Mikaeel lived. I never knew the wee boy but the minute he disappeared we were all out looking day and night for two days – only to find out this is what had happened.
“Why is it being reduced to culpable homicide when she has admitted what she has done?”
Ms Macleod, 41, said she was hoping to get 1000 signatures in a week or so, but managed to pass that number within just eight hours.
She said: “The community does not agree with the decision that his mum should face a lighter charge. There are a lot of angry people. I’m angry because of what happened to a defenceless little boy, and because she is not going to get the sentence she deserves.
“This is a wee boy who lost his life at the hands of his own mother, who stood and watched hundreds of people going searching for him for two days.
“I know we can’t change the decision the judge has made, but I’m hoping people will realise how angry people are. This can never happen to another child again.”
The average term for culpable homicide is eight years, but there is no maximum, so in theory Adekoya could still be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Meanwhile, Mikaeel’s father Zahid Saeed has demanded to know why the child was singled out by Adekoya.
Zahid said: “There are questions that need answering and I now need to ensure they are answered.”