The mother who starved her son to death has been placed on indefinite sick leave. Olabisi Abubakar, from Cardiff, caused the death of her three-year-old son, Taiwo, through extreme religious fasting, but a jury found her not guilty of manslaughter and two counts of child abuse last Friday.

The Cardiff Crown Court heard that Abubakar, a devout Pentecostal Christian, had been “absorbed” into her religious beliefs “during the Covid pandemic. Police raided the 42-year-old woman’s apartment on Kumder Street in Cathays on 29 June 2020 and found her emaciated and dehydrated beside Taivo’s body. The former hairdresser is believed to have started starving herself three to four months earlier.

The hospital’s order was made on Tuesday after forensic psychiatrist Dr. Tom Wynn told the court that Abubakar still exhibited “delusional beliefs” related to paranoid schizophrenia that drove her to starve her son to death. He said: “It is a relapsing and remitting disease. It can float and lasts a lifetime.”

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The psychiatrist recommended restrictions in accordance with Article 41 of the Mental Health Act. This means that Mrs. Abubakar can only be released from the hospital with the consent of the Secretary of State for Justice.

Judge Neris Jefford told Ms. Abubakar: “You didn’t know what you were doing… You were a good and loving mother.

“People who know him describe him as a calm, pleasant and calm person. You made friends easily, especially with people from your church. You are a very religious person with a strong belief in God. You participated in several Pentecostal festivals. church, first in London and then in Cardiff, where you came to live in 2017. According to your religious beliefs, you would fast to focus on God.”

The judge added that Abubakar, who came to the UK from Nigeria in 2011 as an asylum seeker, had suffered “stress”, including worries about his immigration status, money and a fight with a neighbour. She stopped responding to her sister’s messages in late 2019 and was forced to stop attending church after her first coronavirus quarantine in March 2020.

Abubakar became “anxious and scared” and fasted more because she thought it “would bring a blessing from God,” Judge Jefford said. “In fact, the impact of their hunger strike was devastating,” she added.

The judge ordered Ms. Abubakar to remain at Bridgend’s Caswell Clinic with a section 41 restriction on her release. Mrs. Abubakar, who appeared in court via a video link, showed no emotion in response.

During the trial, two psychiatrists said that Ms. Abubakar suffered from paranoid schizophrenia during the pandemic, which led to his son’s death from malnutrition and dehydration. A post mortem examination revealed that Taiwo had been dead for some time before the discovery. His body weighed only 9.8 kg (first 5 pounds).

Unusually, the prosecution asked the jury to find Abubakar not guilty. Mark Heywood, KC, in charge of the prosecution, described it as “a case of the deepest tragedy” and said that before the pandemic, Ms. Abubakar had been a “very good mother” to a healthy, happy boy.

Mrs. Abubakar believed that she fell asleep on 26 June 2020 and was brought down from heaven when the police arrived. She told police: “I saw myself among the dead in heaven. I said, “I don’t want to die.” Then I saw the angels of God, and they brought me back to life.”

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Source: Wales Online