A woman has been convicted in relation to the death of her son in Acton, after she suffered a mental breakdown during lockdown in 2020.
Olga Freeman, 40, of Cumberland Park in Acton, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey on Monday 25 January to the manslaughter of 10-year-old Dylan Freeman by reason of diminished responsibility.
In the early hours of Sunday, 16 August 2020, Freeman walked into Acton Police Station, where she stated that she had given Dylan some pills and pushed a sponge into his mouth. Officers attended the home at around 2.16am and found Dylan unresponsive. Colleagues from the London Ambulance Service were requested and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Freeman was arrested at 3.11am on suspicion of murder. A post-mortem examination was conducted on 18 August at Great Ormond Street Hospital. It found the provisional cause of death to be upper airway obstruction by a foreign body.
Dylan, who had been diagnosed with autism and a range of conditions which caused difficulties with communication and independence, required round-the-clock care. Freeman had cared for him for many years, using local authority services and a friend for assistance. She had also suffered with mental ill health issues and with challenges in her personal life and had spoken to acquaintances about struggling with the responsibility of caring for Dylan.
Around 22.00pm on the night before Dylan was found, she sent a message to a friend which read: “I am done. Where are u?”
The friend arrived at around 12.44am and found that Freeman had booked two seats on a flight from London Luton Aiport to Tel Aviv. She said she had been receiving messages in her head. The friend was not allowed to go into Dylan’s room.
Shortly before 2.16am Freeman attended Acton Police Station with the friend, and said to the officer on duty that she had killed her son.
She largely answered ‘no comment’ during police interviews.
‘Incredibly sad incident’, say Police
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, lead investigator, said:
“This has been an incredibly sad incident to investigate. Foremost our thoughts are with Dylan and his family, who continue to feel his untimely loss and will do so for a long time to come.
“I would like to thank my team of detectives, who have worked so diligently and professionally during this harrowing case. I would also like to acknowledge the selfless actions of my response colleagues who attended the scene on that night and tried in vain to save Dylan’s life.”
A date for sentencing has not yet been set.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
Support The Chiswick Calendar
The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.
We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.
To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.