BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 March, 2005, 13:12 GMT
Father 'spoke of suffocating son'
Mary Wragg arriving at court
Mary Wragg said her husband once spoke of suffocating Jacob
A woman has told a jury how her husband spoke of smothering their terminally ill son to end the boy's suffering.

Andrew Wragg, 37, of Worthing, admits manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility, but denies murder.

Mary Wragg, 41, told Lewes Crown Court he once said he would put a pillow over his son's face if he suffered too much.

She said her attitude had been "to get on with caring for Jacob", who had the degenerative disease Hunter Syndrome and was 10 when he died.

She told the court how she and Mr Wragg talked to the mother of another sick child while they were visiting Jacob in hospital in Manchester.

'Happy and lively'

"The woman said she wished they would leave her daughter alone because she felt she was suffering unnecessarily and that they were keeping her alive unnecessarily.

"I clearly remember Andy saying that if he thought Jacob was suffering he would put a pillow over his face."

She said Mr Wragg had said the couple's decision to terminate a child at seven months who was found to be carrying the disease was right.

Jacob Wragg
Doctors said Jacob would not live beyond his 20s

"I remember getting very upset because the discussion used to be that it was for the best.

"I felt it was something he said to deal with the difficulty of the situation and the fact that he felt powerless."

She said Jacob had been "happy and lively" on the day he died, in July 2004.

Jurors heard Jacob had a good appetite and was not suffering from conditions which regularly plagued the youngster.

When doctors diagnosed Jacob's condition, it became clear to the couple that Jacob would not live beyond his 20s, and would become deaf, dumb and blind, Mrs Wragg said.

They also found that Mrs Wragg's unborn child was carrying the disease but they decided on a termination after doctors advised them not to have another child.

The case continues.

Hear details from the court

Son's death was 'mercy killing'
28 Feb 05 |  Southern Counties
Father charged with son's murder
27 Jul 04 |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific