The ex-wife of a celebrity photographer is accused of murdering their 10-year-old disabled son after struggling with his care needs during lockdown, the Old Bailey heard this morning.
Mr Freeman is a renowned lifestyle and fashion photographer, who has published books of photographs on David Beckham, the Spice Girls, Kelly Brook and Michael Bublé.
Freeman appeared in the dock at the Old Bailey in front of Judge Mark Lucraft, the Recorder of London. She spoke only to confirm her name and date of birth. She was dressed in grey trousers and a dark grey fleece. She has not entered a plea.
“The factual background to the allegation of murder is this defendant is alleged to have killed Dylan Freeman, who was her son and was 10 years old at the time of his death,” said Joel Smith, prosecuting.
“He was disabled and required 24-hour care, suffering from a litany of conditions.” The court heard Freeman had been “struggling to meet Dylan’s care needs for the last year, as he became older, bigger, and more difficult to care for” and the boy’s behaviour had recently become “especially challenging”.
Mr Smith added: “During lockdown, he was not able to attend school and the burden of care had fallen more heavily on the defendant, together with the assistance from her friend.”
Dylan was found dead in the master bedroom of the family home after his mother attended a police station. The court heard he died from “restriction of the airways”.
After the death Mr Freeman said in a statement: “Dylan was a beautiful, bright, inquisitive and artistic child who loved to travel, visit art galleries and swim. We travelled extensively over the years together spending such memorable time in places including Brazil, France and Spain. I can’t begin to comprehend his loss.”
Mr Freeman’s representative said he was “a loving and caring father and, even though divorced for a number of years, he cherished all the quality time spent with his son”, and said he has been left “beyond devastated”.
Judge Lucraft remanded Freeman in custody and set a plea hearing for November 4.