Olabisi Abubakar, 42, of Cardiff, Nigeria, is on trial in the United Kingdom on two counts of manslaughter and child abuse in connection with the death of her three-year-old son, Taiwo Abubakar.
According to Mail Online, Olabisi, who is suspected of killing her three-year-old kid through religious fasting, claimed authorities she “locked herself away” during the COVID-19 outbreak.
She is being prosecuted at Cardiff Crown Court, where it was revealed that on June 29, 2020, police forced entrance into her flat in the Cathays area after a friend expressed worry for her welfare.
Olabisi, who was thin, malnourished and dehydrated, was found lying on a sofa bed next to the body of her son, Taiwo.
Cardiff Crown Court heard Taiwo weighed 9.8 kilos (22 pounds), with pathologist Dr Stephen Leadbetter finding his death was caused by malnutrition and dehydration.
The court heard Olabisi was sectioned on June 30, 2020 and has remained detained in hospital, where she is being treated for paranoid schizophrenia, Mail Online says.
The prosecutor, Peter Donnison, told the court that Olabisi was deemed fit for police interview in October 2020 and was interviewed by officers on eight occasions.
In one interview, according to Donnison, Olabisi described “the effect on her of the pressures of not having help, fearing coronavirus for herself and her child, and her immigration status.”
Mr Donnison said: “She described them as depressing. She said she was a religious woman and prayed to God and believed he had heard her and answered prayers and kept them safe.
“She had been taking her child out daily but she had to stop doing that due to the coronavirus. She described herself as locking herself away due to the coronavirus and her neighbour.”
Olabisi had been having issues with a neighbour at the property she was living at in Cwmdare Street, Cardiff, and was an asylum seeker.
The court was told that she is a devout Pentecostal Christian and fasts as part of her faith.
Prosecutors allege that Olabisi caused her young son to fast of both food and water along with her, due to fears over the coronavirus pandemic and personal pressures, according to Mail Online.
However, in police interviews Olabisi repeatedly denied this and said children should not fast until the age of 12.
Mr Donnison said: “She said she would dry fast when she wanted to speak to God and hear something from God.
“She said her child did not fast, he did eat, and she gave him food to eat.”
She told police she had fallen asleep on June 26 and believed she had gone to heaven before being brought back to life when her neighbour and police officers arrived.
Donnison said: “Olabisi Abubakar said she couldn’t explain what happened to her. She was asleep on the bed and that is what she remembered last. She said she believed she was being punished by God.”
In a police interview, Olabisi said: “I saw myself among the dead in heaven. I was saying, ‘I don’t want to die’. Then I saw the angels of God and they brought me back to life.”
The court heard a series of facts agreed by the prosecution and defence in the trial, read by Mr Donnison.
This included evidence that health visitors saw Olabisi and Taiwo before the pandemic and had no concerns, including in relation to her religion and religious practices.
They were not seen by healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 lockdown.
In February 2020, a police officer was called to a noise complaint by Olabisi’s neighbour and attended her room, which he described as “clean and warm”.
Taiwo was seen playing loudly and appeared “very energetic” and healthy, Mr Donnison said.
Police searched the property after Taiwo’s body was discovered on June 29 and found a note on food in a fridge, stating: “Do not touch anything, whooping cough, virus, save yourself.”
According to Mail Online, Olabisi penned a series of messages while in an ambulance and a hospital, indicating that she was “very hungry” and “can’t stand up” and that Taiwo was dead.
“I don’t eat, I can’t cook, and I can’t go out and buy food because of the coronavirus,” Olabisi told a police officer in the hospital.
Doctors discovered Olabisi was suffering from delusions and sectioned her under the Mental Health Act 1983 on June 30, 2020, with her confinement in hospital continuing while she receives treatment.