Mikaeel Kular was a happy and popular 3-year-old boy from Edinburgh, Scotland, who earlier this year had the bad fortune to get sick to his stomach after eating at a restaurant with his mom back in January. But rather than get the little guy to a doctor, his 34-year-old mother Rosdeep Adekoya flew into a rage, beating the child repeatedly.
Two days later Mikaeel Kular passed away from the injuries inflicted on him by his mom. And again, the mom reacted in the most terrible way possible: she stuffed her son’s body into a suitcase, drove 25 miles away to a wooded area and dumped him there.
Finally, she called police and reported her son missing, and authorities launched a major search effort for the missing toddler.
At her trial, Adekoya’s attorneys argued that the single mom of twins had been experiencing symptoms of depression and felt unable to cope with raising her kids.
On Monday, Adekoya was sentenced to 11 years in prison — but under U.K. parole laws, she could be free again in as little as 5.5 years. The seemingly-light sentence sparked outrage among Adekoya’s neighbors, some of whom had spent two days looking for Mikaeel.
“She should never have got a reduction because she was depressed and she admitted it,” said Julie Macleod to the Mirror newspaper. “She didn’t stop the manhunt, she didn’t stop what we’ve got to live with in the area.”
Investigators began to suspect she was lying when cell phone tracking data showed that she drove to the town of Kircaldy at a time when she told police that she was in Edinburgh.
The investigators also probed her internet search history, finding that Adekoya had sought information on such topics as “I find it hard to love my son”, “why am I so aggressive with my son” and “get rid of bruises.”
But the mom had no known history of violent behavior toward Mikaeel until the trip to a Nando’s restaurant on January 12, when the boy began vomiting, which for some reason sent his mom over the edge.
According to court testimony, she struck Mikaeel in the stomach and punched him in the head with her closed fist. After the little boy threw up for a third time, she dragged him to a bathtub and threw him over the edge of the tub, beating him on his back.
Mikaeel’s condition deteriorated over the next two days, as he became lethargic and unresponsive. But fearing doctors would ask about the boy’s clearly visible bruises, she never brought sought medical attention for the boy, who died on January 14.
Rosdeep Adekoya pleaded guilty to a charge of “culpable homicide,” which was reduced from murder in the death of Mikaeel Kular.