Autistic murder case child was 'a wonderful, beautiful, happy boy'

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The Independent Online

The family of a severely autistic boy allegedly murdered by his mother in an airport hotel room today said he was "a wonderful, beautiful, happy boy".

The body of Glen Freaney, 11, was found at the Sky Plaza Hotel near Cardiff Airport on Saturday.

His mother Yvonne Freaney, 48, appeared in court today charged with his murder.

In a statement released through South Wales Police, the family said: "Glen was a wonderful, beautiful, happy boy. Our family are extremely proud of him, especially his achievements, despite his condition.

"It cannot be underestimated how much Glen was loved by all of us.

"He has deeply touched us during his time with us. We are all devastated by this tragedy.

"Glen will be deeply missed by all of us and will constantly be in our thoughts."

They asked that their privacy be respected so they can deal with their loss.

Freaney, who told police she strangled her son with a belt, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court today wearing a black T-shirt and with white bandages on her wrists.

Two weeks before the death of her son, she told a friend she was feeling suicidal, the court heard.

She had been living at the hotel since April after she separated from her husband and had previously been living in various hostels.

South Wales Police said officers were called to the hotel on Saturday by friends and family who were concerned about the boy's safety.

When they arrived, they found a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and when they entered the room they found mother and son lying on the bed.

The boy was under a bed cover.

Nicholas Cooke QC, Recorder of Cardiff, remanded Freaney to the Caswell Clinic in Bridgend under the Mental Health Act.

Her case was next listed for June 14 at the same court.

South Wales Police said two trained family liaison officers were helping Glen's family.