A seven-year-old Cardiff boy died after repeatedly being beaten “like a dog” by his mother, a court has heard.
Sara Ege beat Yaseen Ali Ege with a blunt instrument in the family’s home in the suburb of Canton in July 2010, Cardiff Crown Court was told.
The jury heard Ege, 31, who denies murder, then set his body alight so that his injuries would not be found.
Yousuf Ali Ege, 38, denies causing his son’s death by failing to protect him. The trial continues.
The jury heard that Yaseen received regular beatings from his mother Sara Ege, of Pontcanna, Cardiff.
On 12 July 2010, she beat him with a blunt instrument, causing severe injuries to his abdomen.
She did not call for any medical assistance and some hours later he died.
The court was told that Sara Ege set light to his body using barbecue lighter fuel in a bedroom before dragging it onto the landing.
She then called 999. When the emergency services arrived, they could not revive Yaseen.
Prosecutor Ian Murphy said that post mortem evidence showed that he had died before the fire started.
Mr Murphy said the examination showed “a catalogue of systematic physical abuse” on the boy.
The court heard pathologists found multiple injuries on Yaseen’s body including broken ribs, a fractured arm and a fractured finger.
“At first it appeared to be the tragic accident that Sara claimed it was – an unexplained fire in which Yaseen died,” said Mr Murphy.
“But within days when the smoke had cleared it emerged that Yaseen was dead before the fire had started.”
In police interviews Sara Ege said she had beaten Yaseen “like a dog” regularly with a stick, but she could not remember if she had beaten him that day.
She told police that she had set the fire to “protect herself” so that the injuries to Yaseen would not be discovered.
In the interview she said that she went to the kitchen cupboard to get gel for lighting the barbecue, that she poured it and lit it.
“I don’t know why I did that,” she said. “I knew he was gone and I was trying to protect myself because he had some injuries.”
In the interview she went on to describe how she had over a period of about three or four months repeatedly hit Yaseen with a stick.
She said that whenever she stopped there were voices in her head asking her why she had stopped and telling her to go back and hit him some more.
She said the stick was making her evil so she put it in the cellar.
She later gave a different version of events, saying that she had said what she had said because she had been threatened by her taxi driver husband Yousuf Ali Ege and his family.
Mr Murphy said Yousuf Ali Ege must have known about the beatings Yaseen was receiving, as they shared a room because of renovations that were going on in the house.
“This father knew his son was suffering pain and injury and this father did nothing to protect his son,” said Mr Murphy.
“The mother was cruel and violent the father knew about the violence.
“He saw the evidence of the catalogue of injuries suffered by his son but did not nothing to stop the pain and suffering received at the hands of his wife.”