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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 13:52 GMT
Dying son 'no excuse for murder'
Jacob Wragg
Doctors had said Jacob would not live beyond his 20s
The wife of a man accused of murdering their terminally-ill son has told Lewes Crown Court that her son's condition was "no excuse for murder".

Mary Wragg was visiting her mother's house when Andrew Wragg phoned her to say he had killed Jacob, who had the degenerative disease Hunter Syndrome.

Mrs Wragg said she was not trying to "assassinate her husband's character".

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

I do not have to assassinate his character... he murdered my child
Mary Wragg

Michael Sayers QC, defending, accused Mrs Wragg of inventing things to try and stain her husband's character.

He said her claims that Mr Wragg was often late for appointments with Jacob and the couple's other son, George, were an invention.

Mrs Wragg, giving evidence on the third day of the trial, said: "I do not have to assassinate his character... he murdered my child."

Jurors had earlier heard how Mrs Wragg agreed that if Jacob's heart or breathing stopped then he should not be resuscitated.

'No resuscitation'

Mr Sayers handed Mrs Wragg her son's care plan to read out in court and questioned why she didn't want them to try and save his life.

She shouted: "This resuscitation care plan was based on when Jacob was very poorly.

"Jacob was extremely frightened of having anything put over his face.

"I do not see anywhere on this care plan where it says hold a pillow over his face until he stops breathing.

'Smelling of alcohol'

"There is a difference between dignity and murder," she said.

The court also heard how Mr Wragg had taken his wife to the family court claiming she had denied him access to the children.

Mr Wragg alleges his wife slammed the door in his face when he came to collect them. But Mrs Wragg said her husband had arrived late without an explanation and smelling of alcohol.

The case continues.

Father 'spoke of suffocating son'
01 Mar 05 |  Southern Counties
Son's death was 'mercy killing'
28 Feb 05 |  Southern Counties

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