A woman who beat her son to death because he didn’t learn parts of the Koran has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years before she could be considered for parole.
Initially, it was believed that Sara Ege’s seven-year-old son Yaseen died in July 2010 as the result of a fire, but a subsequent investigation discovered that the child died before the fire began.
In fact, Yaseen died from multiple internal injuries after months of brutal beatings. His mother set fire to his body to hide the evidence, The Huffington Post reports.
The case was heard at Cardiff Crown Court in Wales, England.
The court heard how Yaseen was often beaten with a wooden pestle after falling behind in his Qur’an studies.
The jury was also told that Ege, 33, and her husband, taxi driver Yousef Ege, 38, had enrolled Yaseen in special classes at their local mosque because they wanted him to become Hafiz — someone who memorises the Qur’an.
According to The Guardian, as a child Ege herself had memorized large sections of the book and entered competitions that tested that ability.
But she became increasingly frustrated when her son was unable to do as well and began beating him. Ege also claimed she had been urged on by the devil and bad spirits, the paper notes.
Following her arrest, Ege, a mathematics graduate, confessed to police that she had killed her son. In that confession she told police she was “getting angry too much”, adding: “I would shout at Yaseen all the time. I was getting very wild and I hit Yaseen with a stick on his back like a dog.”
Trial judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams accepted that Ege had suffered prolonged bouts of depression, but as he handed down the sentence he said:
“His [Yaseen's] injuries must have caused him a good deal of pain. In my judgment Yaseen was subjected to prolonged cruelty. The violence that you perpetrated on your son was not confined to one day.”
“There is a further aggravating feature and that is that you attempted to burn Yaseen’s body. There can be no doubt that you set fire to his body in an attempt to evade the consequences of what you had done. What was your motive for acting as you did? I am satisfied that, on the day of his death, Yaseen was kept home from school so that he could dedicate himself to his (Koran) studies.”
“On that day Yaseen must have failed in some way because I am satisfied that it was that failure which was the trigger for the beating. That is what you told the police in the course of your confession in July 2010 and I see no reason to doubt what you then said was true.”
Ege had accused her husband Yousef of being their son’s killer and claimed he was violent bully who beat her. However, the court cleared him of both causing and allowing his son’s death at the family home in Pontcanna, Cardiff, south Wales.
During the one-hour hearing Ege, dressed in brown, with a matching headscarf, sobbed and shook throughout. After she was sentenced she had to be helped from the dock, The Guardian notes.