Yaseen Ege
Yaseen Ege (South Wales Police)

A woman who killed her seven-year-old son after he failed to memorise extracts from the Koran has been found guilty of murder.

Sara Ege, 33, beat her son Yaseen to death with a stick at their home in Cardiff in July 2010 then set fire to his body in an attempt to get rid of the evidence.

It was originally thought that the seven-year-old died in a fire at the family home in Pontcanna.

His mother was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice at Cardiff crown court. She will return to court in the New Year to be sentenced. Judge Justice Wyn Williams told her she faces life in jail.

Her husband, Yusef, 38, was found not guilty of causing or allowing his son to die by failing to protect him.

Ege had claimed her husband was responsible for the death, saying she feared he would kill her too if she did not confess to the killing.

In police interviews, Ege claimed she would hit her son "like a dog" in frustration because he had not learnt the Koran. She also confessed to beating her son for no reason.

She told officers: "I was getting all this bad stuff in my head, like I couldn't concentrate, I was getting angry too much, I would shout at Yaseen all the time.

"I was getting very wild and I hit Yaseen with a stick on his back like a dog."

She described how her son collapsed on the floor after she beat him before dragging him to the kitchen, still murmuring extracts from the Koran.

When she returned 10 minutes later, he was dead.

Abdominal injuries

"A greenish yellow liquid came from his nose and I saw that he was gone," she said.

The prosecution said Yaseen died after suffering significant abdominal injuries. Prosecutor Ian Murphy said: "Sara Ege made no attempt to seek the medical attention he so obviously needed.

"He clearly suffered terribly. She started the fire to hide what she had done."

The guilty verdict was given after a previous jury was discharged for failing to reach a decision.

Deborah Rogers, district crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, added: "The deeply tragic nature of this case has been all too apparent to anyone that has followed this trial.

"This is the second time that the events leading to Yaseen's death have been put before a court.

"At the heart of the case is the loss of a bright and friendly young boy who had his whole life ahead of him.

"It is therefore right that the circumstances of Yaseen's death were fully examined in a criminal court."