A mother who killed her three-year-old son and hid his body in a suitcase has been jailed for 11 years.
Mikaeel Kular died two days after being beaten repeatedly by Rosdeep Adekoya following a family day out in January.
After discovering his lifeless body on the floor of their Edinburgh home, she wrapped it in a duvet cover, put it in the suitcase and drove about 25 miles to Kirkcaldy, Fife, to hide it in woodland.
But she reported him missing to police, sparking a two-day search operation involving hundreds of local people.
Adekoya, 34, a prisoner at Cornton Vale jail near Stirling, was initially charged with murder but last month pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.
She also admitted a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by pretending to police her son had gone missing.
She was jailed for 11 years on Monday when she returned to the high court in Edinburgh for sentencing.
The court heard that Mikaeel died on the night of Tuesday 14 January from injuries inflicted the previous Sunday.
His mother lost her temper when he was repeatedly sick following a trip to a Nando’s restaurant at the city’s Fountain Park.
She smacked him and struck him on the body and head with a clenched fist, the court heard previously.
When Mikaeel was sick for a third time, she dragged him to the shower by his arms and beat him heavily on his back as he lay over the bath edge, the court was told.
Over the next few days Mikaeel’s condition worsened and he was kept away from nursery.
He was assaulted again on the Monday after being sick and became listless, but his mother did not take him to a doctor because of the bruising.
By Tuesday night, Mikaeel was said to be quiet and was giving a limited response to his mother’s questions.
Advocate depute Alex Prentice, prosecuting, 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 and finally dying as a result of the injuries inflicted upon him by the accused.”
The Hight Court at Edinburgh heard how 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”.
Adekoya, who was wearing glasses, a black cardigan and burgundy jeans, cried and wiped away tears throughout her court appearance.
After discovering her son’s body, Adekoya admitted wrapping Mikaeel’s body in a duvet cover, putting it in a suitcase before taking his twin sister to nursery. She then drove to Dunvegan Avenue in Kirkcaldy, Fife, where she hid the case under a bush in woods behind a house
But mobile telephone masts recorded the 34-year-old’s journey across the Forth Road Bridge, undermining her statements to police about her whereabouts.
Adekoya, who had a history of depression and attempted suicide in 2001, had called 999 to report her son missing to police.
She told officers he got out of bed and climbed on a stool to unlock the front door of his home.
Mikaeel died on the night of Tuesday 14 January from injuries inflicted the previous Sunday.
The final cause of death was found to be “blunt force abdominal trauma”.
Mikaeel had more than 40 separate injuries to his body, including bruises to his back, chin and cheek, trauma to the brain, haemorrhage in the spinal cord and injuries to his arms.
Adekoya pleaded guilty to repeatedly punching her son and causing his body to hit against a hard object or inflicting blunt injuries on his head and body between 12 and 15 January at their home in Ferry Gait Crescent in the Drylaw area of the city.
She eventually broke down and took officers to his body.
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”.
Police Scotland Asst Ch Con Malcolm Graham said Mikaeel’s disappearance and death deeply impacted on his family and “resonated across the community in which he lived”.
Passing sentence, judge Lord Glennie said a custodial sentence was inevitable in such a case and referred to the crown acceptance that Adekoya had no intention to kill Mikaeel.
He continued: “Nevertheless, 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.
The toddler’s body was found in woodland behind a property in Kirkcaldy
“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.”
The judge, who heard a plea for a significant discount to the sentence from Adekoya’s defence QC, said it was not clear precisely what triggered the events leading to Mikaeel’s death.
Referring to the beatings the youngster received at the hands of his mother, Glennie told Adekoya her son was in severe pain shortly before he died.
But he said she was “not even aware that death was a possibility until it happened”.
The judge said he accepted that Adekoya’s remorse was “genuine and heartfelt”.
“You are clearly an intelligent and articulate young woman,” he told her. “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.”
Reports prepared for the case found that Adekoya suffered from depression for some time, particularly in the last few months before Mikaeel’s death, as the single mother found herself “overwhelmed” by her circumstances.
“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,” Glennie added.
The judge also pointed to the large search for Mikaeel, involving the police, fire service, coastguard, mountain rescue teams, air support and hundreds of members of the public.
He said: “By your pretence that Mikaeel had gone missing you caused a massive manhunt to be undertaken, involving both the emergency services and the public. I accept that this was not planned and that you simply panicked when you realised that Mikaeel was dead. But this too … is a serious matter.”
Appealing for leniency, defence QC Brian McConnachie told the judge: “There is no sentence your lordship can impose in this case which will be deemed sufficient by what appears to be an ill-informed mob who are no doubt at this moment waiting to express their outrage and indignation.”
Of Adekoya, he said: “She understands that there is an almost insurmountable difficulty in anyone understanding the circumstances that have come to pass which would cause you to kill your own child.”
He pointed to events in her past, including the death of her alcoholic father when she was about 17 and a suicide attempt by her in 2001.
He spoke of Adekoya’s difficulties adjusting from life as a single woman to being the mother of five children.
Her marriage broke up and her subsequent relationship with the father of Mikaeel and his twin sister was disapproved of by her family, the court heard.
McConnachie spoke of her difficulties forming an emotional attachment to Mikaeel, adding: “One of the things that Mrs Adekoya has never been good at doing is seeking help.”
The lawyer attributed her actions immediately following the death of her son to panic and an inability to comprehend what she had done.
He said this was not a death that had been preceded by months of neglect or other violent incidents. On the contrary, it was a situation that was completely out of character, the court heard.
Mother Admits Beating Mikaeel Kular To Death
Mikaeel Kular’s mother has pleaded guilty to killing her three-year-old son, who she subjected to repeated assaults.
Rosdeep Adekoya had been accused of murder but admitted a reduced charge of culpable homicide at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Social workers were last night accused of failing toddler Mikaeel Kular after his mother admitted she beat him to death as a punishment for being sick.
Rosie Adekoya – who was known to social services – ‘lost her temper’ and battered the three-year-old boy in a rage when he was repeatedly sick after a trip to a restaurant.
She then left him in agony to die of his 40 separate injuries over the course of three days. When she found him slumped dead on the floor, she wrapped his body in a duvet cover, hid it in a suitcase and buried it in the woods – before calling the police to say he was missing
She also admitted repeatedly punching him and causing his body to hit against a hard object or inflicting blunt injuries on his head and body between January 12 and 15
Last night it emerged Adekoya, 34, had twice had her five children taken into care – but on both occasions, they were returned to her by social workers.
This was despite neighbours and even her own mother warning the authorities on many occasions that the children were being seriously neglected, left to sleep on filthy mattresses and abandoned for whole weekends while she went out partying with drug dealers, drinking and taking cocaine.
And when Adekoya – the daughter of a respectable Hertfordshire GP – moved from Fife to Edinburgh, social services failed to pass on the records about her.
This meant that no one was monitoring the welfare of three-year-old Mikaeel and his siblings in the weeks before his death.
Yesterday social workers and police were facing questions over why the party-mad single mother and her five children slipped so easily off the radar. Last night Fife Council said it was conducting a significant case review following Mikaeel’s death.
At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, Adekoya wept as she pleaded guilty to killing her son at their home in Edinburgh in January and hiding his body in woodland.
She was originally charged with murdering the toddler but the court accepted her plea of guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide. Adekoya dabbed her eyes repeatedly with tissues as the details of her crime were read to the court. Mikaeel’s father, Zahid Saeed, watched from the public gallery.
The court heard that Mikaeel died on the night of Tuesday, January 14, from injuries inflicted three days earlier when Adekoya battered him for being unwell. His mother smacked him and struck him on the body and head with her fist, the court heard.
When Mikaeel was sick for a third time, she dragged him to the shower by his arms and ‘beat him heavily’ on his back as he lay over the bath edge.
Over the next few days Mikaeel’s condition worsened and he was kept off nursery. He was assaulted again on the Monday after being sick and he became ‘responseless’.
She also pleaded guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice by pretending to police he had gone missing.
Mikaeel’s supposed disappearance from his Edinburgh home in January sparked a huge search involving police officers, firefighters, mountain rescue teams and the coastguard, as well as members of the public.
His body was eventually found 25 miles away in woodland in Kirkcaldy, Fife.
Adekoya had called 999 to report her son missing to police, telling officers he got out of bed and climbed on a stool to unlock the front door of his home.
Advocate depute Alex Prentice told the court: “The basis for the plea tendered being accepted is that the Crown accepts that the accused had no intention to kill Mikaeel and that the assault perpetrated upon him, although severe, fell short of the wicked recklessness required for murder.”
Explaining the charge of culpable homicide, Sky’s James Matthews, at the High Court in Edinburgh, said: “Basically she beat up her son causing his death but she didn’t mean to kill him, and that’s been accepted by the prosecution authorities.”
He said after killing Mikaeel, Adekoya had done the school-run taking her four other children to school before continuing on to dump his body behind a property where her sister was staying.
“Her concocted story unravelled under questioning by police, and it was when they spotted inconsistencies in her story that she broke down and told them where Mikaeel’s body was,” Matthews added.
Adekoya’s internet history showed searches including “I find it hard to love my son”, “I love all of my children except one”, “Why am I so aggressive with my son” and “Get rid of bruises”.
The court heard Mikaeel died on the night of Tuesday, January 14, from injuries inflicted the previous Sunday.
His mother “lost her temper” when he was repeatedly sick following a trip to a Nando’s restaurant at the city’s Fountain Park.
Mikaeel had more than 40 separate injuries to his body, including bruises to his back, chin and cheek, trauma to the brain, haemorrhage in the spinal cord and injuries to his arms.
Mr Prentice said: “If medical assistance had been called for, death might not have resulted.”
Sentence was deferred until August 25 at the High Court in Edinburgh.
UPDATE – 08/07/14: Mikaeel Kular’s mother Rosdeep did not enter a plea in a preliminary hearing at Edinburgh’s High Court today and she is next due to appear on 25 July. She was dressed in black, wore glasses and sat beside two security officers. She showed no emotion.
Mikaeel Kular’s mum due in court
The mother of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular will appear in court TODAY accused of beating the little boy to death over a four-day period.
Mother-of-five Rosdeep Kular is alleged to have repeatedly struck Mikaeel on the head and body and then failed to get medical help for him.
The charge states she then wrapped his body in a duvet cover, put the boy in the boot of her car and transported him in a suitcase from the family home in Edinburgh via a school, Flora Stevenson Primary, and then to a relative’s home in Dunvegan Avenue, Kirkcaldy. She is then said to have hidden the suitcase under a bush in woodland behind the Fife home.
The case against Rosdeep Kular, 33, will call for a preliminary hearing at Edinburgh High Court
Kular, who is on remand at Cornton Vale prison, will appear for a preliminary hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The first charge against Kular states she assaulted her son between January 12 and 15 at their flat.
It states that she inflicted blunt force injuries by repeatedly seizing hold of him, punching him on the head and body and by causing his body to strike against a hard object.
A second charge alleges she took steps to conceal her crime in a bid to defeat the ends of justice.
The indictment further claims that she made a 999 call to the emergency services and told police Mikaeel had got out by climbing on a stool to open a door.
It concludes that she did all the above, sparking a police investigation and major search for Mikaeel also involving the fire service, Coastguard, mountain rescue, air support and the public when “the truth being, as you well knew, that he was dead”.
Kular, who will appear under her married name of Adekoya, is also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
Mikaeel’s body was discovered in Kirkcaldy on January 17, the day after he was reported missing from his home in the north of Edinburgh.
Rosdeep Kular made an initial appearance in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court the following Monday charged with murder. She made a second appearance on January 27 and was remanded in custody.
After Mikaeel’s disappearance, police issued his picture and appealed to the public for help in finding him. Hundreds of volunteers from the local community joined police and specialist teams as they searched the surrounding area.
In the early hours of January 18, police revealed the body of a young boy had been discovered in Fife and a woman had been detained. Investigations were focused in an area of woodland behind a house in Kirkcaldy.
The boy’s mother was formally arrested and charged in connection with her son’s death later that Saturday. A death certificate later revealed Mikaeel died from peritonitis and an intra-abdominal haemorrhage.
Police found the three-year-old’s body in woodland in Fife six weeks ago. His mother Rosdeep, 33, has been charged with his murder
Little Mikaeel Kular died from internal bleeding and peritonitis, according to a death certificate released
A registrar in Kirkcaldy released the certificate. It listed the cause of death as “peritonitis and intra-abdominal haemorrhage” and said an investigation of the facts of the case was pending.
The NHS website defines peritonitis as inflammation of the peritoneum – the thin lining of the abdomen, or tummy.
The inflammation is most often caused by an infection from elsewhere in the body, but can also develop directly.
An intra-abdominal haemorrhage is a bleed inside the patient’s abdomen.
Mikaeel’s death was registered by his step-grandfather, who signed the document Mr B Krishnaswamy.
Mikaeels body was found and listed on “04.02 on 18 January” in “Woodland behind Dunvegan Avenue, Kirkcaldy”.
Less than a month ago, the patch of woodland was the scene of one of the biggest police forensic operations in Scotland in recent years.
Mikaeel’s body was found in January, the day after single mum-of-five Rosdeep, 33, reported him missing from their home in Ferry Gait Crescent, Edinburgh.
Police released his picture and asked the public for help to find him, and hundreds of local people turned out to help in the search.
But after less than 36 hours, the focus of the investigation switched to a property in Kirkcaldy and woodland behind it, where Mikaeel’s body was quickly discovered.
A neighbour of the house that was searched said Ms Kular and her five children lived at the address until 18 months ago, and that Mikaeel and his twin were born while they lived at the house.
Mourners left flowers and soft toys for him outside the house, in an upmarket area of the town.
Mikaeel’s mother was later charged with murdering her son and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. She is being held on remand at Cornton Vale jail near Stirling.
She has appeared twice in court in Edinburgh, making no plea or declaration. She was remanded in custody after the first appearance.
Prison bosses began an investigation last week after a Facebook page belonging to Kular appeared online.
The prison service said they would look into any suggestion a prisoner was using social media.
Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs. Peritonitis may be localized or generalized, and may result from infection (often due to rupture of a hollow organ as may occur in abdominal trauma or appendicitis) or from a non-infectious process.
Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin layer of tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen (tummy).
It is caused by an infection, which can rapidly spread around the body.
Peritonitis is regarded a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.
Signs of peritonitis often develop quickly and can include:
sudden abdominal pain that becomes more severe
nausea (feeling sick)
a lack of appetite
a high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F) or above
not passing any urine or passing less than normal
Why peritonitis happens
Peritonitis is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection that either develops directly in the peritoneum or spreads from another part of the body.
Most cases of peritonitis are the result of infection or injury to another part of the body, such as:
a split stomach ulcer
a burst appendix
digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease ordiverticulitis
Less commonly, an infection develops directly within the peritoneum due to:
cirrhosis – scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage
peritoneal dialysis – a widely used treatment for people with kidney failure