A former British SAS soldier has walked away with a two-year suspended sentence after killing his disabled 10-year-old son. Andrew Wragg, 38, admitted that he had killed his son Jacob, who had Hunter Syndrome, but he described it as a mercy killing. He sent his wife and other son out for the evening, drank himself “silly” and then smothered the child with a pillow. The jury cleared him of murder.
Muriel Gray, a Glasgow columnist, popular horror novelist and former rector of Edinburgh University, was scathing in her criticism of the case. “[Justice] Rafferty’s decision appears to be based on the fact that she considers the parents of disabled children, on her sliding scale of suffering, to be right up there at the top, demonstrated when she talked about the ‘remorseless strain’ and pressure that Jacob put on his parents. The subtext is as patronising as it is bleak. It’s ‘Blimey mate. A life of clearing up snot, pooh and vomit from a kid who can’t see, speak or walk, and is going to die horribly anyway! Who can blame you, eh?
So that’s clear then. All of us parents out here, who care for our severely disabled children, are actually wasting our time, because not only are we suffering more than anyone else you can possibly imagine and are therefore excused if we turn murderous, but it’s now apparent that our disabled children’s lives are worth considerably less than the able-bodied. Go on. Get yourself down to Textile World, pick out a pillow and give yourself a break.”
In court, Mr Wragg was described as a “brilliant” man who was “a wonderful father”. Mr Wragg agreed: “It is insulting to me and to Jacob to suggest that what I did was selfish,” he said.
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