05/12/2012 12:23 GMT | Updated 06/12/2012 04:17 GMT

Mother Sara Ege Guilty Of Murder Of Son Yaseen, 7, Beaten To Death For Not Learning Koran

A mother who beat her son to death for failing to learn the Koran by heart, murdered him and burned his body to hide the evidence, a jury has found.

Sara Ege, 33, treated son Yaseen like a "dog," brutally beating him with a stick for failing to memorise religious texts.

The bright seven-year-old died in July 2010 from internal injuries caused by three months of punishing beatings from his own mother.

His death was treated as a terrible tragedy in the aftermath of the blaze but it was quickly found he was dead before it was set.

Ege accused her own husband of being the real killer throughout her murder trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

But on Wednesday, husband Yousef Ege, 38, was cleared of failing to act to prevent the death of his son at home in Pontcanna, Cardiff, south Wales.

Ege was found guilty of murder and of perverting the course of justice. She will be sentenced in the new year.

Details of the punishing beatings Yaseen regularly suffered at the hands of his mother were so traumatic she could not listen herself.


Sara Ege beat her son because he would not learn the Koran well enough

Ege was given leave by the judge to absent herself from the court room when the jury was told of the events leading to his death.

Ege, who beat breast cancer during young Yaseen's early years, protested her love for him throughout the trial.

But she was warned that the jury would draw its own conclusions from any absence from court.

In particular she failed to watch a police recording made a few weeks after Yaseen's death in which she confesses to murder.

Although she went on to retract the confession the prosecution argued that she had really revealed a true version of events.

The emotional confession made for a harrowing spectacle during the trial and clearly affected the jury.

It listened in silence as Ege detailed how Yaseen collapsed on the day of his death still murmuring extracts from the Koran.

Ege explained that she fetched barbecue gel from her home's kitchen when she decided to burn his body.

She told the police that decision to destroy his corpse was because "I was too nervous".

The interview details how Yaseen's body was swollen in the weeks before he died at a time when he was in such pain he could not sit at school.

In the confession Ege describes undressing Yaseen when he collapsed and soiled himself, then dragging him to the kitchen to feed him milk.

The child was left lying naked on the kitchen floor still reciting extracts from the Koran as she poured him the drink. He was able to take just several sips before he was dragged and pushed to his bedroom and told to get dressed by his mother.

When he proved incapable she dressed him herself and left him on a rug by his bed claiming she believed he had fallen asleep.

Ten minutes later she returned to witness Yaseen shaking and shivering on the floor and gulping a final breath before dying.

"A greenish yellow liquid came from his nose and I saw that he was gone," she said.

Within moments Ege said she decided to burn his body and ran downstairs to get a lighter and a bottle of barbecue gel.

Husband Yousef remained in the dock and listened and watched the footage periodically with his head in his hands.

Ege claimed that she was so incapable of stopping herself beat her son she repeatedly pledged to God she would stop.

Each time her good intentions only lasted a few days.

cardiff court

Cardiff Crown Court, where the case was heard

After she was charged Ege had what appears to have been a breakdown and was sectioned and sent to a psychiatric unit for several moths.

At various times she has claimed to have been motivated by voices from the devil, egging her on, and also by bad spirits, called Jinn.

Ege, a mathematics graduate from India, also claimed at one point she believed the stick she used on her son had an evil spirit in it.

The outcome comes after a jury at the same court earlier this year was discharged for failing to reach a verdict.

The many witnesses involved in both trials were thanked by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for their efforts.

"The deeply tragic nature of this case has been all too apparent to anyone that has followed this trial," said Deborah Rogers, District Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Wales.

"This is the second time that the events leading to Yaseen's death have been put before a court.

"The criminal trial process can be difficult for all those involved - in particular those close to Yaseen, many of whom provided statements to the police or appeared as witnesses in court. I would therefore like to record our thanks to all those who supported the prosecution of this case.

"Finally, we should not forget that at the heart of the case is the loss of a bright and friendly young boy who had his whole life ahead of him.

"It is therefore right that the circumstances of Yaseen's death were fully examined in a criminal court."