A schizophrenic mother has been found responsible for the murder of her 4-year-old son in December 2020. The child had been removed from the care of his mother after she had previously confessed to "holding him underwater" in 2017.
A mother has been deemed responsible for murdering her 4-year-old son after drowning him in the bath at her flat in Plumstead, London. 37-year-old Oluwakemi Badare told police how her son had pleaded "Mummy don't kill me" before she held his head under the water. Paramedics who attended the scene found Kingswealth Bayode, 4, naked in the hallway of the flat, he was tragically pronounced dead at the scene.
In 2017, Badare had told a nurse that she had held her baby under the water for a minute, the mentally ill mother had previously been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Badare denied murder but was deemed unfit to plead as she was unable to understand the charges against her. The Old Bailey held a trial of issue and the jury found her responsible for his murder.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said during the trial: "On December 27, 2020, the London Ambulance Service was called by this defendant to her address in Plumstead. She told the emergency operator that she had killed her son and explained that she had drowned him. She also said that she had left him in the bath and forgotten about him.
"The paramedics attended. When they attended they found Kingswealth's body at the top of the stairs outside the bathroom. His body was wet. The bathroom floor was wet. His death was the result of drowning. There was no natural disease that might have caused him to drown, but there were a number of scratches, bruises, and skin defects about his head, neck, and upper body, consistent with pressure from fingernails, and focal pressure to the head. This suggests that Kingswealth had been held under the water - and drowned deliberately."
Emergency services were alerted to the incident at 7.45am after Badare phoned them, telling the call handler she had killed her son. While on the phone she also said to them that she "want to do bubble bath" and had forgotten about her son, she also said that she had filled the bath with cold water.
When the child was found, he was naked at the top of the stairs, no attempts to resuscitate him were made as rigor mortis had already started to set in.
Police officers noted that the bath was empty, however, there were traces of faeces and bubbles, and the bathroom floor was soaking wet.
Officers told the jury that Badare was clearly "quite upset" and was banging her arms, she told paramedics that she had bathed her son at midnight.
When police had attended, they found Badare sitting "calmly" by her Christmas tree, but she later became "restless" holding her head in her hands.
Badare was arrested for murder at 8.27am, at which point she said: "Yes, I forgot him in the bath" before she collapsed. While she was initially said to be fit to interview, she became erratic in her prison cell, and told officers: "My son was telling me, Mummy please don't kill me."
Evidence of water inhalation in the lungs of the young boy was found during a post-mortem examination, as well as a "number of linear abrasions, or scratches, bruises, and skin defects about his head, neck, and upper body". These injuries were consistent and of similar appearance to the tips of fingernails.
The jury heard how: "Although the pathologist has to be guarded in expressing an opinion, she does consider that these injuries were not inconsistent with the head being gripped. She concluded that the injuries and indications were consistent with the death being the result of drowning facilitated by a third party- Kingswealth had been drowned by someone, rather than by accident."
The court at The Old Bailey was also told how 4-year-old Kingswealth had been taken from his mother's care in 2017 after she confessed to holding him under water. At the time of the first incident, she was suffering from delusions and claimed to believe she was under surveillance. In March 2018 her son was returned to her care.
After her arrest for murder in 2020, Badare said to a custody nurse that she had previously attempted to kill her son. Mr Atkinson said: "The prosecution suggests it is unlikely to be a coincidence that, when unwell, the defendant should try to drown her son in 2017 and yet again in 2020, again when she was unwell, he should actually drown by accident rather than by her act."
He added that it was now the job of the jurors to decide whether Badare acted in the way how she has been charged - that she deliberately drowned her son, or she did it by accident.
Detective Inspector Jason Crinnion of the Met's Specialist Crime Unit said: "This case is so sad, young Kingswealth Bayode lost his life at the hands of his mother, who is clearly very ill.
"Any investigation into the death of a child is harrowing for everyone involved, and that certainly includes the investigating team. My team has professionally gathered the evidence and presented the facts, so the jury has been able to make an informed decision, but we are all aware of how tragic this case is."
Sentencing for Ms Badare is set to take place on July 20 when a hospital order will be imposed.