Schizophrenic 'intentionally drowned' her son, 4, in bath, jury rules

Paranoid schizophrenic, 37, whose son, 4, begged ‘mummy don’t kill me’ before she drowned him in the bath warned nurses three years before she’d tried to kill him the same way, court hears – as jury rules she carried out his murder

  • Oluwakemi Badare, 37, deliberately killed son Kingswealth in December 2020
  • Badare was sent to mental hospital for treatment ahead of sentencing July 20
  • Nigerian was not deemed fit enough to participate in trial due to mental illness

A paranoid schizophrenic who deliberately drowned her four-year-old son in the bath as he pleaded: ‘Mummy don’t kill me’, has been sent to a secure mental hospital after being found to have carried out the act of murder. 

Nigerian Oluwakemi Badare, 37, held her struggling son Kingswealth under the water for more than a minute at their home in Invermore Place, Plumstead, southeast London, on December 27 2020.

Police found the medication she was supposed to be taking in a rubbish bin on the landing, near to where her son’s naked body was discovered already in a state of rigor mortis and with his scalp covered in defensive scratches. 

The Old Bailey heard how she had been treated for mental illness for years and in 2017 confessed to medical staff she had attempted to drown her son, then a baby – just months before he was returned to her care in March 2018.

Badare had denied murder and manslaughter by gross negligence, claiming she had simply forgotten that her son was in the bath. 

However she was not deemed fit enough to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, meaning jurors were asked to instead consider whether she carried out the acts alleged – in other words deciding whether she drowned Kingswealth deliberately or he died by accident.

After just nine hours deliberation, the jury decided the mother had deliberately killed her son and she will now be treated in a secure mental hospital ahead of sentencing. 

Paranoid schizophrenic Oluwakemi Badare (pictured), 37, called emergency services to her home in Plumstead, on December 27, 2020, after drowning her four-year-old son in the bath while he begged for his life 

The jury heard that paramedics found four-year-old Kingswealth Badare’s (pictured) wet body at the top of the stairs outside the bathroom. His scalp was covered in scratches from being held underwater by his mother. 

The Common Serjeant of London, Judge Richard Marks set a date for July 20.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson earlier told the jury that injuries to Kingswealth, including scratches and bruises to the front, sides and back of his scalp, were consistent with deliberate drowning.

‘On December 27 2020 at 7:45am the defendant made a 999 emergency call,’ Mr Atkinson said.

‘The defendant told the emergency operator, who had asked her if the patient was breathing, that he was not and added that she had killed her four-year-old son.

‘She added that she “want to do bubble bath for him” and that she had forgotten that she had left him in the bath and that she had filled the bath with cold water.’

Paramedics attended within ten minutes of the call and found Kingswealth’s naked body on the landing at the top of the stairs.

Nicholas Goh, incident response officer with London Ambulance Service, said Badare was ‘banging her arms on the sofa’ when emergency services arrived.

‘She became calm and said that they went for a bubble bath last night and that when she put him in the water he screamed as it was cold,’ Mr Atkinson said.

She told Mr Goh this happened at midnight.

Badare, who was not deemed fit enough to participate at her trial, had denied murder and manslaughter by gross negligence, claiming she had simply forgotten that her son was in the bath 

The prosecutor continued: ‘Paramedics noted that Kingswealth’s body was wet and there were bubbles on it.

‘He was not breathing. His hair was waterlogged and there was water in his ears.

‘It was noted that the child’s jaw was stiff, his limbs were stiff, his lungs were full.

‘It was considered…that there was no point to attempting resuscitation as rigor mortis had already set in.

‘Kingswealth was confirmed to be dead.’

Police then arrived and spoke to Badare who was noted to be ‘restless’, the court heard.

She asked to see her son’s body but her request was refused.

Following her arrest she told the officer: ‘Yes, I forgot him in the bath.’

Badare collapsed as she was taken downstairs and sobbed: ‘I fell asleep.’

The mother had been treated for mental illness since 2012 and began treatment as an in-patient for paranoid schizophrenia in 2017.

‘At the time of her treatment in 2017 she was suffering from delusions,’ Mr Atkinson said.

‘She reported to a nurse during her subsequent in-patient admission to hospital that she had held Kingswealth under water for less than a minute when she believed that she was under surveillance.

‘She said that she believed that there were people watching her and would harm her son.’

The court was told that Badare, 37,  called emergency services to the address in Invermore Place (pictured) on Sunday shortly before 8am, where the boy was found dead

Badare had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenic episode in 2017 when she previously held her son under water, the Old Bailey (pictured) heard

This was recorded by hospital and child care services, but Kingswealth was returned to his mother’s care in March 2018.

By the time of the killing she was not taking her anti-psychotic medication, the court heard.

After she was arrested, Badare told a custody nurse Jacqueline Donohoe that her son had told her: ‘Mummy don’t kill me’, before she drowned him.

Mr Atkinson added: ‘The prosecution suggest that it is unlikely to be a coincidence that, when unwell, the defendant should try to drown her son in 2017 and yet in 2020, again when she was unwell, Kingswealth should actually drown by accident rather than through an act by his mother.

‘The circumstances in which the body was found and the comments made by the defendant that she had killed her son, and that he had told her ‘mummy don’t kill me’… underpin the prosecution contention that the defendant did the act of killing her son that is the act that needs to be proved for a charge of murder.

‘At the very least, however, the defendant’s account that she had left her son in the bath for a number of hours unsupervised and forgot about him allows for the conclusion that the act she was responsible for was manslaughter.

‘That failure by her caused his death.’

Originally from Nigeria, Badare came to the UK in 2009, giving birth to Kingswealth in April 2016.

He was described as a ‘healthy and active’ boy before he died.

The jury found that Badare carried out of the act of murdering her son following a four day trial.

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