Yaseen Ege was a seven-year-old Asian Muslim boy
killed by his mother, Sara Ege, at their home in Cardiff, in the
United Kingdom, in July 2010, for failing to memorise the Koran.
In the months preceding his death, Yaseen was
routinely beaten. On the day he died, Yaseen had severe abdominal
injuries and multiple fractures. Sara burnt her son's body in an
attempt to destroy the evidence. Police arrested Sara; she was
convicted of murder and received a life sentence.
Yaseen was taught the Koran before and after school
due to his parents' desires that he become a hafiz. His mother said
that Yaseen's memorization would have increased the family's standing
in the local community. She became frustrated with her son's inability
to memorise the Koran,
For several months before his death, Yaseen was
repeatedly beaten, and he suffered internal injuries. Sara Ege told
police officers, "I was getting more and more frustrated. If he didn’t
read it properly I would be very angry – I would hit him." Yassen was
allegedly locked in a shed and tied to a door as punishment for
failing at his studies.
After Yaseen started school, teachers became
concerned about his well-being on a few occasions. One teacher
observed that Yaseen's handwriting was untidy and that he was using
his left hand rather than his right one. Yaseen explained that his
hand hurt because his mother had struck him with a ruler.
On the day of his death, Sara kept her son at home
from school to focus on memorizing the Koran. She was angry at his
lack of progress and attacked him. Yaseen collapsed but continued to
murmur extracts of the Koran. His mother undressed him, gave him some
milk, and then dragged him to his bedroom. His mother said he was
repeatedly muttering the same verse and she thought he was just tired
and left him. She returned to the room a few minutes later and found
Yaseen convulsing on the floor before dying soon after.
Sara used barbecue gel to burn her son's body to
destroy the evidence and set fire to the family home. It was initially
thought that Yaseen had died in the blaze but investigations proved he
had died several hours earlier. Pathologists discovered that Yaseen
had broken ribs, a fractured arm and a fractured finger among other
injuries, and lighter fuel was found on Sara's clothing.
Sara said that she had hit Yaseen "with a stick on
his back like a dog" but also said that her husband, Yousef, was a
violent person that had beaten her and her son and was responsible for
Yaseen's death. She said her husband had threatened to kill her if she
did not accept responsibility. Her husband was cleared of allowing his
son’s death by failing to act to prevent the abuse. Sara was found
guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice at Cardiff Crown
Court and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of
Domestic violence reports
The case review by Cardiff's safeguarding children
board found that in 2003, concerns regarding domestic violence were
raised to a women's safety unit, though these were not reported to the
police or children's services. Further reports of domestic violence
were made in 2007. Although that several agencies had tried to support
the mother, those efforts were "not part of a co-ordinated plan." The
review made a number of recommendations that were accepted by the
Cardiff safeguarding children board.
'Devoted' mother beat son to death for failing
to learn Koran
A mother who beat her son to death because he
failed to learn the Koran properly was described by a judge as an
otherwise “devoted and caring mum”.
By Richard Alleney - Telegraph.co.uk
January 7, 2013
Sara Ege, 33, was said to have treated her
seven-year-old son “like a dog” and repeatedly beaten him with a
stick, rolling pin and slipper for failing to memorise the religious
text quickly enough.
But as he sentenced her to life for the “dreadful
crime”, Mr Justice Wyn Williams said that in many respects she was a
“very good mother”.
Ege collapsed as the sentence was delivered at
Cardiff Crown Court and had to be helped, trembling and sobbing, from
The trial heard that for at least three months
before his death in July 2010, Ege had beaten Yaseen on a number of
occasions, sometimes so badly he was unable to write and sit down.
The beatings, often with a wooden pestle, became so
bad that on the day he died he was suffering from "serious abdominal
injuries" and “multiple fractures”.
In a confession that she later retracted, Ege said
that as he lay dying he continued to recite tracts from the Islamic
Ege then burnt the body in an attempt to cover up
the crime and claim that he died in a house fire.
Judge Williams, who said she must serve at least 17
years in jail, said “the cause of the beating was your unreasonable
view that he wasn't learning passages quickly enough”.
"The violence Yaseen suffered was not confined to
the day of his death,” he said.
"For three months you beat him often with a wooden
pestle and I'm confident these beatings left him in a significant
amount of pain.
"This prolonged cruelty culminated on the day of
his death in what was a savage attack.
"You then set fire to his body in an attempt to
evade responsibility for what you had done.
"I accept you were a devoted and caring mum.
"Except for the obsession with Yaseen learning you
did many fine things to bring him up as a young boy.
"In killing your son you abused a precious
relationship of trust which does and should exist between a parent and
Ege, a university graduate who suffered prolonged
bouts of depression, sobbed throughout the one-hour hearing.
She had originally admitted killing him after
getting “frustrated” with him because he failed to three chapters of
the Koran in three months.
The court was told how Ege would hit Yaseen with a
stick, a hammer, a rolling pin and a slipper as well as repeatedly
Ege finally retracted all her previous confessions
and told police they had all been lies.
She said her husband and his family had threatened
to kill her and her family if she didn't take the blame for her son's
Her husband Yousef denied causing or allowing the
death of a child by not stopping his wife's beatings of Yaseen.
After the sentencing Mr Ege, a taxi driver, said:
"He was loved by all who had known him due to his beautiful nature and
his high academic level.
"I would like to thank all my family, friends for
the endless support through these difficult times and I would like to
thank all the people who sent messages of condolences."
Ann James, head teacher at Radnor Primary School in
Cardiff were Yaseen was a pupil,
"He was a delightful little boy and beautifully
behaved who always had a smile on his face,” she said.
"It was a pleasure having him in school with us."
Ege was found guilty of murder and perverting the
course of justice by burning little Yaseen's body.
Sara Ege: Domestic violence reports as far back
as 2003 says case review
January 7, 2013
Reports of domestic violence as far back as 2003
were made in the family of a seven-year-old boy whose mother has been
jailed for life for killing him, a serious case review has found.
Sarah Ege beat son Yaseen to death at home in
Cardiff in July 2010.
The review said there were also delays in making
referrals to children's services following reports of domestic
violence in 2007.
Jailing Ege on Monday, the judge said Yaseen had
suffered prolonged cruelty.
Cardiff Crown Court heard he had been subjected to
a ferocious beating when he failed to memorise passages from the
In the serious case review by Cardiff's local
safeguarding children board, published separately on Monday, seven
recommendations are made.
The report says while lessons could be learned,
Yaseen's death could not have been predicted.
Outlining the background, it says in 2003 - seven
years before Yaseen was murdered - reports of concern about domestic
violence were made to the women's safety unit.
But they were not reported to the police or Cardiff
Council's children's services.
In 2007 when further reports of domestic violence
were made, there were delays in making referrals to children's
When the referral was received by children's
services it was not possible initially to contact the family because
they were away from the UK for several weeks.
The police and children's services tried to follow
up the concerns when they returned but the mother declined the offers
of intervention and said the matter had been resolved.
The report said there had been no further reports
of domestic violence or any referrals to children's services at the
time of Yaseen's death.
The review also said that after Yaseen started
school, there were "one or two occasions" when teachers became
concerned about his health and wellbeing.
They contacted his mother to say that he should be
taken to the doctor, but these were "not referred for consideration
under the inter-agency child protection procedures and did not come to
the attention of children's services or the police until after his
Nick Jarman, chair of the Cardiff Local
Safeguarding Children Board, said:" I am deeply saddened by the
circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Yaseen.
"The review has highlighted learning for agencies
around the crucial area of safeguarding which are already being
"Knowledge and understanding in respect of
safeguarding children is an area where continuous improvement is
essential and the lessons learned from this review will contribute to
practice development across agencies involved in working with
The serious case review panel found evidence that
several agencies and individual professionals had worked with
"considerable dedication and concern to support the mother".
However, it was found that the efforts were not
part of a co-ordinated plan and the "extent of the mother's social and
cultural isolation, and the possibility that Yaseen might be at risk
of significant harm within the family, was not realised or
The review made recommendations that have been
accepted by Cardiff's local safeguarding children board. The board has
drawn up an action plan in response to the recommendations and will be
monitoring its implementation.
On Monday, Ege was jailed for life, for a minimum
of 17 years, after a five-week trial. The court heard she had also set
fire to her son's body.
She was also found guilty of perverting the course
of justice and given a four-year sentence for that crime.
Her husband Yousuf Ege, a taxi driver, was cleared
of allowing the death of a child by failing to protect him.
Mother Sara Ege Guilty Of Murder Of Son Yaseen,
7, Beaten To Death For Not Learning Koran
The Huffington Post UK
December 5, 2012
A mother who beat her son to death for failing to
learn the Koran by heart, murdered him and burned his body to hide the
evidence, a jury has found.
Sara Ege, 33, treated son Yaseen like a "dog,"
brutally beating him with a stick for failing to memorise religious
The bright seven-year-old died in July 2010 from
internal injuries caused by three months of punishing beatings from
his own mother.
His death was treated as a terrible tragedy in the
aftermath of the blaze but it was quickly found he was dead before it
Ege accused her own husband of being the real
killer throughout her murder trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
But on Wednesday, husband Yousef Ege, 38, was
cleared of failing to act to prevent the death of his son at home in
Pontcanna, Cardiff, south Wales.
Ege was found guilty of murder and of perverting
the course of justice. She will be sentenced in the new year.
Details of the punishing beatings Yaseen regularly
suffered at the hands of his mother were so traumatic she could not
Ege was given leave by the judge to absent herself
from the court room when the jury was told of the events leading to
Ege, who beat breast cancer during young Yaseen's
early years, protested her love for him throughout the trial.
But she was warned that the jury would draw its own
conclusions from any absence from court.
In particular she failed to watch a police
recording made a few weeks after Yaseen's death in which she confesses
Although she went on to retract the confession the
prosecution argued that she had really revealed a true version of
The emotional confession made for a harrowing
spectacle during the trial and clearly affected the jury.
It listened in silence as Ege detailed how Yaseen
collapsed on the day of his death still murmuring extracts from the
Ege explained that she fetched barbecue gel from
her home's kitchen when she decided to burn his body.
She told the police that decision to destroy his
corpse was because "I was too nervous".
The interview details how Yaseen's body was swollen
in the weeks before he died at a time when he was in such pain he
could not sit at school.
In the confession Ege describes undressing Yaseen
when he collapsed and soiled himself, then dragging him to the kitchen
to feed him milk.
The child was left lying naked on the kitchen floor
still reciting extracts from the Koran as she poured him the drink. He
was able to take just several sips before he was dragged and pushed to
his bedroom and told to get dressed by his mother.
When he proved incapable she dressed him herself
and left him on a rug by his bed claiming she believed he had fallen
Ten minutes later she returned to witness Yaseen
shaking and shivering on the floor and gulping a final breath before
"A greenish yellow liquid came from his nose and I
saw that he was gone," she said.
Within moments Ege said she decided to burn his
body and ran downstairs to get a lighter and a bottle of barbecue gel.
Husband Yousef remained in the dock and listened
and watched the footage periodically with his head in his hands.
Ege claimed that she was so incapable of stopping
herself beat her son she repeatedly pledged to God she would stop.
Each time her good intentions only lasted a few
After she was charged Ege had what appears to have
been a breakdown and was sectioned and sent to a psychiatric unit for
At various times she has claimed to have been
motivated by voices from the devil, egging her on, and also by bad
spirits, called Jinn.
Ege, a mathematics graduate from India, also
claimed at one point she believed the stick she used on her son had an
evil spirit in it.
The outcome comes after a jury at the same court
earlier this year was discharged for failing to reach a verdict.
The many witnesses involved in both trials were
thanked by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for their efforts.
"The deeply tragic nature of this case has been all
too apparent to anyone that has followed this trial," said Deborah
Rogers, District Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Wales.
"This is the second time that the events leading to
Yaseen's death have been put before a court.
"The criminal trial process can be difficult for
all those involved - in particular those close to Yaseen, many of whom
provided statements to the police or appeared as witnesses in court. I
would therefore like to record our thanks to all those who supported
the prosecution of this case.
"Finally, we should not forget that 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."
Yaseen Ali Ege death: Jury told he should have
been at picnic
November 16, 2012
A boy whose mother is accused of murdering him for
failing to learn parts of the Koran should have been at a teddy bears'
picnic on the day he died, a jury has been told.
Yaseen Ege, seven, missed school because he did not
have a teddy bear to take to the children's party, Cardiff Crown Court
Sara Ege, 33, denies beating him to death and
setting fire to his body in July 2010.
The trial continues.
The jury heard that his father Yousef Ali Ege, 38,
told police: "He was not at school on the day he died because it was a
teddy bears' picnic.
"Yaseen didn't have a teddy bear so he didn't go.
"The last time I saw my son he looked fine. He was
very happy and had written out a list of things he was going to do in
the summer holidays."
The court heard how Mrs Ege used a stick to beat
her son "like a dog" if he could not recite passages from the Koran.
In a video recording of her interview with police
Mrs Ege said: "I was trying to teach him the Koran but he was not very
"I was getting more and more frustrated, if he
didn't read it properly I would be very angry. I would hit him.
"We had a high target, I wanted him to learn 35
pages in three months. I promised him a new bike if he could do it.
"But Yaseen wasn't very good - after a year of
practice he had only learned a chapter."
Mrs Ege and her husband wanted Yaseen to become
"Hafiz", an Islamic term for someone who memorises the Koran.
But he preferred to play with his friends and fell
behind with his studies.
His beatings were so brutal, the jury was told,
Yaseen died from his injuries and his mother tried to burn the body to
destroy the evidence.
Emergency services were called to the family's home
in Pontcanna, Cardiff, and it was initially thought he had died in an
accidental house fire.
Barbecue lighter fuel was found on Mrs Ege's
clothing when she was arrested after the post mortem examination.
The court has previously been shown a video
confession from her to police within days of Yaseen's death.
In the video, she describes how her son collapsed,
still reciting the Koran.
A sobbing Mrs Ege was allowed to leave the dock
while the harrowing hour-long footage was shown.
She later retracted the confession.
Mrs Ege denies murdering Yaseen and burning his
body to hide what she had done.
Her husband, the boy's father, denies causing or
allowing the death of a child by not stopping his wife's beatings
Yaseen Ali Ege death: Son told teacher his
mother Sara hit him
November 6, 2012
A mother from Cardiff accused of killing her son
for failing to learn parts of the Koran had been called to see his
headteacher amid concerns she hurt him at home, a court has heard.
Sara Ege denies beating Yaseen Ali Ege to death and
setting fire to his body.
A teaching assistant told Cardiff Crown Court the
boy had told her Mrs Ege, 33, had hit his hand with a ruler at home.
Yaseen's father Yousef Ege, 38, denies causing his
death by failing to protect him. The trial continues.
Seven-year-old Yaseen's death at his home in
Cardiff in July 2010 was believed to be a tragic accident in a fire at
first, and it was only later that investigators found he was dead
before the blaze began.
A teaching assistant told the jury she worked at
Yaseen's school in 2007 and knew him as a bright boy who liked drawing
and making things and was good at writing.
She said: "He wasn't going out to play with the
other boys. He was reading or drawing or playing with something. He
spent more time with the girls.
"To be honest he was such a neat little boy - his
hand-writing was beautiful. I knew that he could be left to get on
'He said his hand hurt'
Speaking about a particular session overseeing
Yaseen and and some other children, she said that she was surprised
when the writing he produced in pencil was "really untidy and not like
him at all."
On asking him to repeat the work, she noticed he
was using his left hand rather than his right one.
When she queried this, he said his hand was hurting
him then told her his mother had hit him with a ruler. She examined
his hand but could not see an injury.
She reported her concerns to the teacher, who
relayed them to the head, and Mrs Ege was asked to go and see her when
she came to collect Yaseen from school that day.
The teaching assistant said she did not know what
was said in the head teacher's office, but dismissed a suggestion she
was mistaken about Mrs Ege being asked to see her.
Mrs Ege is accused of hitting and punching Yaseen
and punishing him using a hammer, a rolling pin and a slipper. She
also denies perverting the course of justice.
Mother 'beat son, 7, to death then set fire to
his body' because he struggled to learn the Koran off by heart
Sara Ege, 32, is accused of beating her son Yaseen
to death because he was struggling with his Islamic studies, then
setting fire to his body
The boy's death was treated as an accident until a
post-mortem examination revealed Yaseen died before the blaze broke
out at the family home in Cardiff
Cardiff Crown Court was told Ege beat Yaseen with a
stick and a hammer and locked him in a shed when he failed to recite
The 32-year-old denies murdering her son and
burning his body to destroy the evidence
By Kerry Mcdermott - DailyMail.com
November 1, 2012
A mother brutally beat her seven-year-old son to
death with a stick then set his body on fire because he was struggling
to commit passages from the Koran to memory, a court was told.
Sara Ege, 32, is alleged to have beaten Yaseen Ali
'like a dog' for failing to recite passages from the religious text,
before burning his body at the family home in Cardiff to try and cover
up what she had done.
The youngster's death was initially believed to be
a tragic accident following the blaze at the house in Pontcanna, until
a post-mortem examination revealed Yaseen had died before the fire
broke out, Cardiff Crown Court heard.
Ege is also accused of abusing her son in the
months leading up to his death, allegedly beating him with a hammer
and locking him in a shed for falling behind with his Islamic studies.
The trial at Cardiff Crown Court heard how the
university graduate and her husband Yousuf Ege had enrolled Yaseen in
advanced classes at their local mosque and hoped he would become Hafiz
- an Islamic term for someone who has memorised the Koran.
In a video recording of her interview with police
Ege told officers she had set her seven-year-old the target of
memorising 35 pages in three months.
But the court was told fun-loving Yaseen preferred
to play with his friends and fell behind with his learning.
'I was getting more and more frustrated,' Ege said
in the interview.
'If he didn’t read it properly I would be very
angry - I would hit him.
'But Yaseen wasn’t very good - after a year of
practice he had only learned a chapter.”
She went on: '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 - I use to beat him with a
The court was told how Ege hit Yaseen with a
hammer, a rolling pin and a slipper as well as repeatedly punching
She would also allegedly lock him in the shed, tie
him to a door, and force him to do push ups.
The court heard that in the months after Yaseen's
death Ege told a doctor she had been told to kill her son by Shaitan -
an Islamic name for the devil - and that she felt 100 per cent better
after he died.
Notes kept by her GP record her as saying: 'It is
like something has been released. For three or four months I have not
Murder charge mother Sara Ege collapses in court
The 32 year old accused her husband and his brother
of acting together to kill son Yaseen, seven, and burn his body, court
May 23, 2012
A MOTHER accused of murdering her son and burning
his body to destroy the evidence claimed she lived in fear for her
Sara Ege, 32, accused her husband and his brother
of acting together to kill son Yaseen, seven, and burn his body.
A sobbing Ege claimed she was afterwards beaten and
her life threatened unless she told police she was the murderer.
Ege collapsed in court as she was questioned about
her son’s death and only continued giving evidence with a nurse at her
She then accused husband Yousef Ali Ege, 38, of
killing their son and said his brother Nasser burned the dead body.
Ege, of Pontcanna, Cardiff, is accused of beating
her seven-year-old son “like a dog” with a stick.
The beatings were so brutal that in July 2010 he
died from his injuries. A panicked Ege then burned his body, it is
Ege denies murder. Her taxi driver husband denies
allowing the child’s death by not stopping his wife’s alleged
Ege later confessed to murder and claimed the Devil
and voices in her head pressed her to beat her defenceless son.
Today she told a Cardiff Crown Court jury her home
was filled with evil spirits called Jinn, and the Devil still spoke to
But she insisted that she “loved to bits” her son
and claimed she was forced to confess to murder after a beating and
threats from her brother-in-law.
Ege, a practising Muslim, was a bride from India in
an arranged marriage originally conceived and carried out over just
As a maths graduate she claims she expected a well
educated and successful husband but found he was a postman and
part-time taxi driver.
Both she and her husband were questioned briefly by
police when it appeared Yaseen’s death was a tragic accident.
An examination later found he had suffered broken
ribs, a fractured arm and finger and significant abdominal injuries.
The couple were then arrested and questioned and
Ege eventually went on to admit to killing her son in police
She later retracted the confession and claimed her
husband habitually beat Yaseen and caused the injuries that killed
Her husband’s brother then used barbecue gel and a
lighter to burn the body.
Traces of gel found on her clothes after arrest
were from an earlier barbecue, she claims.
Ege insisted today that Nasser threatened and beat
her after her release on bail because she failed to confess to murder.
She said that both she and husband Yousef were
released to her brother-in-law’s home in Cardiff where she was at his
“He was angry and started hitting me in front of
his wife,” she said through a sobbing voice.
“He said that I should tell the police that
everything that had happened to him I had done it. He threatened to
kill me if I did not say to the police what he said.”
She added that Nasser told her: “I should take all
the blame and say the medication I was taking has done this to me and
say that the Devil has told me to burn the body.”
Ege said as a result she admitted beating Yaseen
with a stick and burning his body, adding that her husband knew
nothing about it.
She also claimed that she was encouraged to make a
similar confession to her own GP who recorded details of what she
Ege was later admitted to a psychiatric unit and
continues to reside in one during the trial.
She said today that voices in her head had never
told her to hit her son or burn his dead body.
But she admitted that she had been hearing voices
in her head for the last year and believed in evil spirits.
She agreed that she believed that evil spirits
called Jinn, which are mentioned in the Koran, live at her Cardiff
She still also hears voices in her head on a
regular basis: “They say the same thing. That my life is not worth
living and I will be dead soon,” she said.