32-year-old Sara Ege, a Muslim woman living in Cardiff, Wales, is accused of beating her seven-year-old son to death with a stick and trying to cover up the crime by setting him on fire.
The gruesome incident occurred in the family home in Pontcanna, following repeated acts of physical abuse in the past months. The Daily Mail describes how the woman was becoming increasingly frustrated with her son, Yaseen Ali, as he was struggling with learning the Koran.
Ege is a university graduate, and insisted her son become a Hafiz – an advanced student of Islam that can recite the entire Koran by heart.
The woman confessed to the abuse, but pleaded not guilty to charges of murder. The child's father stands beside her, stating he had no knowledge of the abuse.
“It is like something has been released. For three or four months I have not been normal,” she says.
During the trial, it was revealed that she hit him with a hammer, a rolling pin and slippers and punched him, when he didn't display progress. On several occasions, she locked him in the shed and tied him to a door, to scare and humiliate the boy into learning more.
“I was getting more and more frustrated. [...] If he didn’t read it properly I would be very angry - I would hit him. [...] But Yaseen wasn’t very good - after a year of practice he had only learned a chapter. […] I was getting all this bad stuff in my head, like I couldn’t concentrate, I was getting angry too much, I would shout at Yaseen all the time. [...] I was getting very wild - I use to beat him with a stick,” the woman admitted.
Ege's doctor testified to the woman claiming she was possessed by the Devil, or Shaitan in the Islamic culture, and confessing she had felt relieved when the boy was gone.
Police had initially written off Yaseen's death as an accident, brought on by the fire that broke out in the family home. It wasn't until a post-mortem examination was conducted, that they found there was evidence of foul play.