London: An Indian-origin woman, who beat her son "like a dog" for not being able to memorise passages of the Quran, has been found guilty by a British court of murdering him and setting his body on fire to hide evidence. Sara Ege, 33, a mathematics graduate from India, was found guilty at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday of beating her son Yaseen Ege to death at their home in Pontcanna, Cardiff, in July 2010 and setting fire to his body.
She was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice at the court. Sentence was adjourned, the BBC reported. Sara also claimed at one point she believed the stick she used on her son had an evil spirit in it.
The boy's father, Yousuf Ege, 38, was acquitted of causing Yaseen's death by failing to protect him, the Daily Telegraph reported. It was initially thought Yaseen had died in the blaze at the family home but tests later revealed he had died hours earlier.
Sara had pleaded not guilty to murder and claimed her husband was responsible for Yaseen's death. Sara said she feared her husband would kill her and target her family unless she confessed to the murder.
That confession, made to police days after the death of her son, was captured on video and played to the jury during the five-week trial. During the hour-long harrowing footage, university graduate Ege described how the young boy collapsed after she had beaten him while still murmuring extracts of the Quran.
Sara said in her confession back then that she decided to burn his body and ran downstairs to get a lighter and a bottle of barbecue gel. In police interviews she also confessed to beating her son for no reason and that her anger often led to her being out of control.
She and her taxi driver husband had enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at their local mosque as they wanted him to become Hafiz, an Islamic term for someone who memorises the Quran. The court heard Ege become more and more frustrated with her son's inability to learn the passages he needed to.
"I was getting all this bad stuff in my head, like I couldn't concentrate, I was getting angry too much, 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," she told officers.
She later retracted her statement. "Sara Ege made no attempt to seek the medical attention he so obviously needed," prosecutor Ian Murphy said. "He clearly suffered terribly. She started the fire to hide what she had done," Murphy said.