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