Mother, who killed son for not memorising Holy Quran, jailed
A mother who was convicted of beating her seven-year-old son to death for failing to learn the Holy Quran by heart was jailed in Britain for a minimum of 17 years on Monday.
Sara Ege, a 33-year-old mathematics graduate from India, battered her son Yaseen with a stick in July 2010 when he failed to memorise Islamic texts and burned his body to hide the evidence, Cardiff Crown Court in Wales heard during the trial.
Ege collapsed as she was sentenced and was led sobbing from the dock.
"Yaseen was subjected to prolonged cruelty," Judge Wyn Williams told her as he passed sentence.
"I am satisfied that, over three months, you beat him on a number of occasions."
The judge said that until the final three months of Yaseen's life Ege had been "a very good mother" in many respects. He also acknowledged that she had suffered prolonged periods of depression.
Yaseen was initially believed to have been killed in a fire at the family home in Pontcanna, Cardiff, but tests later revealed that he was dead before the blaze began.
A jury found Ege guilty last month of murder and perverting the course of justice.
She had confessed to the murder but later retracted the confession, saying her husband and his family had forced her into it.
Her husband, Yousef Ege, 38, was cleared in December of failing to prevent the death.
The judge said Yaseen had suffered "serious abdominal injuries" on the day he was killed, when Ege had kept the seven-year-old at home to study the Koran.
"On that day Yaseen must have failed in some way because I am satisfied that it was that failure which was the trigger for the beating," he said.
"That is what you told the police in the course of your confession in July 2010 and I see no reason to doubt what you then said was true."
He added: "There can be no doubt that you set fire to his body in an attempt to evade the consequences of what you had done."
Ege had told police that she could not stop herself beating her son and had repeatedly pledged to God before Yaseen's death that she would not do it again, but that her good intentions only lasted a few days.
The court heard that she was sent to a psychiatric unit for several months after her son's death. She claimed several times to have been motivated by voices from the devil.
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