A Nigerian woman, Olabisi Abubakar, 42, from Cardiff, is facing trial in the United Kingdom for two counts of manslaughter and child cruelty relating to the death of her three-year-old son, Taiwo Abubakar.
Olabisi, accused of killing her three-year-old son through religious fasting, told police she had “locked herself away” during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mail Online.
She is being tried before the Cardiff Crown Court where it was revealed that police forced entry to her flat in the Cathays area on June 29, 2020 after a friend raised concerns for her welfare.
Olabisi, who was thin, malnourished and dehydrated, was found lying on a sofa bed next to the body of her son, Taiwo.
Cardiff Crown Court heard Taiwo weighed 9.8 kilos (22 pounds), with pathologist Dr Stephen Leadbetter finding his death was caused by malnutrition and dehydration.
The court heard Olabisi was sectioned on June 30, 2020 and has remained detained in hospital, where she is being treated for paranoid schizophrenia, Mail Online says.
The prosecutor, Peter Donnison, told the court that Olabisi was deemed fit for police interview in October 2020 and was interviewed by officers on eight occasions.
In one interview, according to Donnison, Olabisi described “the effect on her of the pressures of not having help, fearing coronavirus for herself and her child, and her immigration status.”
Mr Donnison said: “She described them as depressing. She said she was a religious woman and prayed to God and believed he had heard her and answered prayers and kept them safe.
“She had been taking her child out daily but she had to stop doing that due to the coronavirus. She described herself as locking herself away due to the coronavirus and her neighbour.”
Olabisi had been having issues with a neighbour at the property she was living at in Cwmdare Street, Cardiff, and was an asylum seeker.
The court was told that she is a devout Pentecostal Christian and fasts as part of her faith.
Prosecutors allege that Olabisi caused her young son to fast of both food and water along with her, due to fears over the coronavirus pandemic and personal pressures, according to Mail Online.
However, in police interviews Olabisi repeatedly denied this and said children should not fast until the age of 12.