Mother charged with murdering her son

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A mother has appeared in court charged with murdering her 11-year-old son after she was found holding the dead boy's hand in a hotel room.

Yvonne Freaney, of Penarth, near Cardiff, was arrested after her son, Glen, was found dead at the Sky Plaza Hotel near the city's international airport on Saturday.

Police launched a search to find the mother and son after relatives raised the alarm when the pair went missing.

Detectives discovered Ms Freaney, 48, had checked in to the hotel less than 10 miles from their home. Police went to their room and found Ms Freaney sitting alongside her son's dead body and holding his hand.

Ms Freaney appeared in court yesterday for a short hearing where she was remanded in custody. She was accused of killing Glen between Thursday and Saturday.

She spoke only to confirm her name, age and address when she appeared at Barry magistrates' court.

Magistrate Mike Wilson remanded her in custody. She was due to appear at Cardiff Crown Court this morning.

South Wales Police said they were called to the three-star hotel where Glen and his mother were staying on Saturday by friends and family who were concerned about the boy's safety.

Police sources initially said that Glen suffered from autism and used a wheelchair. It was also said that he was only able to talk through a computerised voice system. But South Wales Police later said that the boy was not disabled, nor was he "wheelchair-bound".

A force spokesman said: "Sadly, when officers arrived at their hotel room, the victim was dead."

Many passengers were staying at the hotel after flights were grounded by the volcanic ash cloud.

The last confirmed sighting of Glen alive was on Thursday and police believe he probably died on Thursday or Friday last week.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Jones of South Wales Police Major Crime Team said: "This is a tragic murder of a young boy and I can confirm that it is domestic related.

"I would also like to reassure the public that we are not looking to trace any other person in connection with this incident.

"However, I would like to appeal to the public who may have witnessed Glen at the Sky Plaza Hotel in the last week, to contact us, as they may hold vital information.

"If you have been a resident at the hotel, have seen Glen in the last week or you believe you have information relevant to the investigation, please contact us."

Chief Superintendent Carl Davies, the divisional commander for the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend division, said: "I would like to give my condolences to Glen's family and friends at what is a very sad time.

"It is especially heart breaking that the incident has involved somebody so young. This will no doubt be a huge shock to the local community. A thorough and professional investigation will continue."