South East Wales

Yvonne Freaney murder trial told family were let down

Yvonne Freaney
Image caption The court has heard that Yvonne Freaney looked after her children alone while her husband was away

Lawyers defending a woman who killed her severely autistic son have said that social services let the family down.

A jury heard that Yvonne Freaney from Penarth was granted respite care for son Glen six years after she first asked the authorities for help.

The prosecution said she was a "sad, defeated woman" but had no personality disorder.

Mrs Freaney admits manslaughter but denies murder. The case continues.

Summing up the case for her defence, John Charles Rees QC said Mrs Freaney wrote to Vale of Glamorgan council social services as far back as 2002/2003 requesting help with sleeping arrangements.

Despite repeating the request two to three times over the years, no respite was granted until 2009, he said.

Mr Rees questioned whether Mrs Freeney was given adequate help in finding accommodation, adding that when she disengaged from social services in February 2010 it should have put social services on "high alert".

Image caption Mrs Freaney has admitted Glen's manslaughter but denies murdering him

Prosecuting barrister Greg Taylor QC said insults from Mrs Freaney's husband had a profound effect on her.

He said that on 15 March 2010 Mark Freaney swore and suggested she should kill herself.

Mr Taylor said it was this that pushed her over the edge, prompting her to kill her 11-year-old son Glen at the Sky Plaza hotel in Rhoose, near Cardiff Airport, in May 2010.

Despite psychiatric evaluation after the boy's death, he said Mrs Freaney did not have a personality disorder but described her as simply "a sad, defeated woman".

More on this story