THE wife of a celebrity photographer suffocated her ten-year-old disabled son after saying she needed to “sacrifice my beloved child”.
Olga Freeman, 40, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Dylan at their home in Acton, West London, in August last year.
Olga Freeman, 40, admitted to killing her ten-year-old son DylanCredit: Facebook
Dylan’s dad Dean Freeman paid tribute to the little boy
The boy was found in the master bedroom of the house lying on his back covered by a duvet with parts of a sponge in his throat.
Toys had been placed beside him in the master bedroom of the £544,000 flat.
In the week leading up to the killing, Freeman had spoken about saving the world and being a Messiah.
In a voice recording she said: “This is my job: to sacrifice my beloved child to create a balance in this world.”
At the time of his death, his father, the celebrity photographer Dean Freeman, was in Spain.
The night before Dylan was found, the mother had sent a message to a friend saying “I am done. Where are u?”
The friend arrived at the home a few hours later – finding Olga had booked two seats from London to Tel Aviv and that the mum wouldn’t let her into Dylan’s room.
Freeman had handed herself into Acton police station just after 2am, telling them she had given her son some pills before pushing the sponge into his mouth.
The Old Bailey had previously heard Freeman had “struggled” to care for Dylan, who had a range of medical conditions including autism, in the six months leading to his death.
At a virtual hearing on Monday at the Old Bailey, Russian national Freeman denied her son’s murder but admitted manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.
Olga Freeman handed herself into policeCredit: Met Police
Freeman messaged a friend telling them ‘I am done’Credit: Facebook
In a voice note, the mum had said she believed her son was a ‘sacrifice’Credit: Facebook
The mum admitted to killing her sonCredit: PA:Press Association
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of Dylan’s death as restriction of the airways.
Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC said the plea was acceptable to the Crown after careful consideration.
Joel Smith, prosecuting, had last year told the court 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”.
The court was also told his behaviour had been “especially challenging” and the “burden of care had fallen more heavily” on Freeman and a pal during lockdown when Dylan was unable to attend school.
Dylan had been diagnosed with autism, global neurodevelopmental delay, progressive myopia and significant difficulties with language and communication, self-help and independence.
He required round-the-clock care and had attended a special school five days a week but had been unable to go during the lockdown.
He was suffocated at his home in Acton sometime between August 14 and August 17 last year.
‘BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL’
Dylan’s dad Dean Freeman – a celebrity photographer who has snapped a string of stars such as Bradley Cooper and Emily Ratajkowski – previously paid tribute to his son.
Dean 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.”
Dean’s agent added: “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.”
Dylan’s grandad Robert was also a photographer and shot a number of iconic The Beatles’ albums – including including A Hard Day’s Night and Rubber Soul.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, lead investigator, thanked those involved in investigating the “incredibly sad” incident.
He added: “I would also like to acknowledge the selfless actions of my response colleagues who attended the scene on that night and tried in vain to save Dylan’s life.”
Kristen Katsouris, from the CPS said: “This was a tragic death of a child at the hands of his mother who was struggling to cope.
“Olga Freeman had loved and cared for Dylan for many years, but the strain and pressures of her son’s severe and complex special needs had built up and that combined with her impaired mental health led to heart-breaking consequences.
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by this case.”
Freeman is expected to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 11 February.
Flowers left outside the Acton homeCredit: Peter Jordan – The Sun
Police investigated the tragic death of Dylan at their Acton homeCredit: Peter Jordan – The Sun