Kids charge mom with abuse

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

A WEALTHY South- Africa born mother ac­cused of vi­o­lent abuse told a court yes­ter­day she had been on the “verge of in­san­ity” when she hit her adopted son aged 5.

Su­san Wynne-Will­son said she was “deeply ashamed” of her par­ent­ing skills af­ter strug­gling to cope with look­ing af­ter her five young­sters.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence, the 69-yearold house­wife broke down in tears as she told a jury she was at times a “loud, volatile and des­per­ate” mother, adding: “I would not have wanted to be a child around my­self then.”

But Wynne-Will­son said she was shocked when told that two of her chil­dren had gone to the po­lice ac­cus­ing her of bit­ing, kick­ing and punch­ing them over more than a decade of abuse in the 1980s.

She ad­mit­ted she hit her son Daniel and bit her daugh­ter Poppy, who on another oc­ca­sion was taken to hos­pi­tal with a bloody head in­jury af­ter she threw a toy at her. But she de­nied charges of child cru­elty.

Wynne-Will­son was tak­ento Eng­land as a baby by her par­ents, Black­fri­ars Crown Court heard. They sent her to board­ing school, although she ini­tially strug­gled due to what was di­ag­nosed ear­lier this year as dys­lexia and dyscal­cu­lia.

She moved to London, where in 1969 she mar­ried Peter Wynne-Will­son, 71, a light­ing en­gi­neer for Pink Floyd and U2. They moved to York­shire, where she gave birth to Alice, 45, Rosa, 42, and Poppy, 41, and adopted Daniel, 40. The fam­ily had an au pair and a daily cleaner. Af­ter mov­ing to a lar- ger house, she found her­self “iso­lated and de­pressed” af­ter fi­nan­cial strug­gles meant they could not af­ford help and did the lion’s share of child­care.

She started a re­la­tion­ship with the fa­ther of her youngest son, Billy, 35, split up with her hus­band and moved with the chil­dren to London. She told the court she wanted to give her chil­dren a good ed­u­ca­tion.

How­ever, her daugh­ter Rosa claimed this had been a façade – and the chil­dren had in­stead suf­fered beat­ings and forced to con­stantly do chores. Wynne-Will­son told the court this was “ab­so­lutely un­true”.

But she con­fessed that she had strug­gled look­ing af­ter five chil­dren. She ad­mit­ted hav­ing hit Daniel in the face, say­ing she was “com­pletely on the verge of in­san­ity”. Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, she said: “I feel deeply ashamed be­cause I did not hold the sta­bil­ity of the fam­ily to­gether. I did not give the care and sup­port each in­di­vid­ual child de­served and needed at the time.”

Asked how she felt hav­ing to stand across from her chil­dren in court, she replied: “It is the last thing in the world that any­body wants. These are two of my chil­dren that I love dearly and I do not want any­thing but hap­pi­ness for them and their chil­dren.”

Wynne-Will­son, of Gospel Oak in north- west London, de­nied five counts of child cru­elty and three counts of caus­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm between 1979 and 1993.

The trial con­tin­ues. – Daily Mail

‘I feel deeply

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