Mother Found Not Guilty of Murdering Son with Autism


Yvonne Freaney

Yvonne Freaney

In an upsetting story out of the United Kingdom, a 49-year-old mother has been found not-guilty of murdering her 11-year-old son with autism, despite admitting to strangling him in a hotel room back in May of last year.

Yvonne Freaney, a resident of Wales, strangled her son Glen with a coat belt because she "was frightened about who would look after him." After killing her son, Freaney laid down and attempted to take her own life, but was unsuccessful. Prosecutors described her as a "sad, defeated woman." 

Freaney was living in the Sky Plaza hotel with her severely autistic son due to alleged domestic violence episodes, causing her to move out of the family’s home. Some incidents were violent enough to require Mrs. Freaney to seek medical attention for her injuries, but she never pressed charges against her husband, Mark. In fact, during the trial, he was shown to have sent a text message to a friend that read, "I’m a wife beater and proud of it. She deserves it.”

Clearly, the jury showed compassion and spared Freaney of murder charges and this case highlights the extreme emotional stress that parents of children with autism can often be subjected to. Further compounding matters, Freaney’s hotel stays are an indicator of the lack of a support structure around her.

This case is tragic for all involved and underscores the need for respite care for parents and caregivers. While Freaney clearly should have been found guilty of murder, she also should never have been in the position she was in to allow these incidents to occur.

Parents with children on the low end of the spectrum can often be exhausted physically, emotionally and financially — and for those who are emotionally unstable, it doesn’t take much for them to reach their breaking point.

Freaney is being held until her sentencing on June 10th for the lesser charge of manslaughter.

2 Responses to Mother Found Not Guilty of Murdering Son with Autism

  1. Sally says:

    This is a complete outrage! This is showing time and time again how much prejudism those with autism face. Hey it’s even okay to murder them!

    Give me a break. Please quit showing all of this sympathy for just the parents and think for once about what these children have to go through? Even murdered and society sees it as okay. Enough is enough!

    If you don’t care about your autistic child, give your child to someone who will. There is no good excuse for murder.

    If this child were not autistic, she would be serving time.

  2. Dread says:

    I only wish that asshole husband could be charged for something. In cases like these, women don’t come forward as victims of abuse because they feel like 1. they deserve it 2. they have nowhere to go for support or 3. their lives are being threatened by their abuser/s. He probably made her feel like her child’s severe autism was her fault, given the fact that she attempted suicide after killing her son. She needs help, and Mark needs to be arrested.

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