The mother of Edinburgh toddler Mikaeel Kular, whose disappearance sparked a massive manhunt in January, has admitted beating him to death.
Rosdeep Adekoya pleaded guilty to culpable homicide with regard to her son's death as she appeared before the High Court in Edinburgh today (July 25).
A lesser charge than murder, culpable homicide means that Adekoya caused her son's death but the prosecution accepts that she did not intend to kill him.
It was also revealed that Adekoya was the one who led detectives to her son's body, after breaking down under interrogation and telling detectives that Mikaeel was: "In the woods behind my sister's house."
The court heard that Adekoya, who wept as the account of her crimes was read aloud, subjected the toddler to prolonged violence over a period of four days after becoming frustrated when he fell ill after a trip to a restaurant and was sick several times.
She is said to have dragged him into the bathroom and beaten him on the back as he lay over the bath edge. Advocate depute Alex Prentice told the court that it was 'likely' that the internal damage uncovered during Mikaeel's autopsy was a result of this act.
Prentice said that Adekoya had 'subjected Mikaeel to a severe beating by punching him and causing him to strike a hard surface'. The autopsy listed more than 40 injuries on the child's body.
At no time did she seek medical treatment, apparently for fear that marks on her son's body would reveal her abuse. She had previously searched online for 'how to get rid of bruises'. Prentice observed that: "If medical assistance had been called for, death might not have resulted."
Instead, she put Mikaeel to bed and kept him off nursery. He became quiet and listless, and finally died of his injuries on the night of January 14.
The next morning, the court was told, Adekoya wrapped Mikaeel's body in a duvet cover, placed it inside a suitcase and hid it in woodland behind her sister's house in Kirkcaldy, 25 miles away from the family home, after dropping her four other children off at school.
For two days, she continued to pretend that Mikaeel was too sick to attend nursery, before finally reporting him missing on January 16.
Her claim that he had managed to wander out of the house while the family were sleeping led to emergency personnel and volunteers combing the streets of Edinburgh looking for the boy.
His body was discovered the next day, after Adekoya reportedly confessed to the killing during police questioning. Initially she was charged with murder, later downgraded to culpable homicide.
Detectives investigating the case found that she had used her computer to search phrases 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'.
Sentencing was deferred until August 25.
News update: Mikaeel Kular's mother has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.