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fwd: Son's condition 'no excuse for murder'

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  • Keith Armstrong
    The mother of a terminally ill boy suffocated by his father said today she was not trying to assassinate her husband s character. Mary Wragg broke down in
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2005
      The mother of a terminally ill boy suffocated by his father said
      today she was not trying to "assassinate" her husband's character.

      Mary Wragg broke down in court as she faced questions about her
      relationship with Andrew Wragg, 37.

      Mr Wragg admits smothering the couple's 10-year-old son Jacob with a
      pillow on July 24 last year but denies murder.

      Ms Wragg, 41, told Lewes crown court that Jacob's condition was "no
      excuse for murder". The boy was suffering with Hunter syndrome, a
      severe degenerative disease which left him deaf and disabled.

      Michael Sayers QC, defending Mr Wragg, accused Ms Wragg of inventing
      things about her husband to "assassinate his character".

      Ms Wragg, giving evidence for the third day in the trial, held one of
      Jacob's dummies and said: "I do not have to assassinate his
      character. He murdered my child."

      Earlier in the trial, Ms Wragg said her husband had been dismissed
      from the SAS following an incident at his barracks in Harrogate.

      She insisted her husband had said he had been dismissed, and his
      beret and badge removed, because he had "been bullying and slapping
      young boys around because they were winding him up".

      Today Mr Sayers challenged the claim, saying the defendant had been
      disciplined for not clocking in on time at his barracks. The court
      heard that Mr Wragg was later promoted to lance corporal by the
      colonel of the SAS signal squadron on the recommendation of his
      senior officer.

      The court also heard today that Mr Wragg had taken his wife to the
      family court claiming she had denied him access to their children. On
      one occasion Ms Wragg allegedly slammed the door in her husband's
      face when he came to collect Jacob and George, now seven.

      Ms Wragg said her husband had arrived late without an explanation and
      smelling of alcohol.

      Mr Sayers also questioned Ms Wragg's instructions to Jacob's carers
      that if he collapsed he should not be resuscitated. Staff at two West
      Sussex hospices who looked after the boy, Naomi House and the
      Chestnut Tree House, were told to keep Jacob comfortable in an
      emergency but not to use "cardiac or respiratory resuscitation".

      In court, Ms Wragg was asked to read from a care plan for both
      hospices. Mr Sayers asked: "Did you consult your medical team to make
      that decision, or was it your decision?"

      Ms Wragg replied: "This resuscitation care plan was based on when
      Jacob was very poorly. Jacob was extremely frightened of having
      anything put over his face.

      "I do not see anywhere on this care plan where it says hold a pillow
      over his face until he stops breathing. There is a difference between
      dignity and murder."

      Press Association Thursday March 3, 2005

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