Who is Oluwakemi Badare? Paranoid schizophrenic mom drowns son, 4, three years after similar attempt
A mentally-ill mother drowned her four-year-old child in the bathtub three years after she made a similar attempt. A jury ruled that Oluwakemi Badare intentionally drowned her boy, Kingswealth, on December 27, 2020. Since the 37-year-old woman suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, she was granted a medical order by the jury.
Badare dialed emergency services after drowning her son in Plumstead, southeast London. When emergency personnel arrived, she gave contradictory accounts of what had occurred. Badare clearly showed signs that she had absolutely no clue about what had happened. Judge Richard Marks QC told Badare at the Old Bailey sentencing that Kingswealth was a highly loved and well-looked-after kid. He informed her that the tragedy occurred when she was very ill and had stopped consuming her medicine. Later, Badare admitted to trying to drown Kingswealth three years ago.
The judge said, "Given the events of 2017 and your overwhelming mental health issues, one cannot help wondering that with closer supervision and if your illness had been better managed, this tragedy might have been averted."
According to testimony given in court, Badare informed a medic that Kingswealth had pleaded with her mother not to kill him. After Kingswealth died, Badare called 911 and gave contradictory explanations of what had happened, telling the operator that her son had drowned and that she had forgotten about him inside the bathtub. His soaked corpse was discovered by paramedics at the top of the ladder outside the restroom.
Kingwealth had abrasions, bruising, and skin problems on his head, neck, and upper torso, said prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC. According to the evidence presented in court, the markings showed Kingswealth had been purposefully held underwater and drowned. His death was eventually determined to be the result of drowning, and a pathologist stated that given his age, there was no reason why he wouldn't have been able to get out of the bath by himself if he had been alone.
Following a decade-long diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, Badare, a 2009 immigrant from Nigeria to the UK, got community-based care. In 2017, she experienced a relapse. While receiving treatment, she admitted to a nurse that she had briefly submerged Kingswealth when she thought she was being watched.
According to Greenwich Safeguarding Children Partnership, child services were aware of Badare's poor mental health and her 2017 attempt to drown Kingswealth. Police started looking into the event, but they decided against continuing it since they felt Badare's claims were not supported by any proof.
Following several evaluations, child services decided to place Kingswealth in foster homes while his mother was sent to a health center for severe mental illness. Badare was reunited with Kingswealth at home in March 2018 after being released in August 2017, and it was determined that her psychological health had improved.
"Of course, there is only the defendant’s own account of that attempt to drown her son in 2017, and it relates to a time when she was very unwell. However, it was recorded by the hospital and child care services in 2017. Moreover, the defendant repeated her account of what she had done when she was spoken to by a nurse, this time a custody nurse at the police station after her arrest for the death of her son in 2020," Atkinson told the jurors.
Detective Inspector Jason Crinnion of the Met’s Specialist Crime (Homicide) said, "This case is so sad, young Kingswealth Bayode lost his life at the hands of his mother, who is clearly very ill. Any investigation into the death of a child is harrowing for everyone involved, and that certainly includes the investigating team. My team have professionally gathered the evidence and presented the facts, so the jury have been able to make an informed decision, but we are all aware of how tragic this case is."
The prosecution argued that it was highly improbable that Badare attempted to drown her son in 2017 while she was ill -- and also that he drowned in 2020 when she was once again ill, accidentally rather than deliberately.
Because Badare was deemed unable to face the murder trial and the lesser charge of killing by gross negligence, the jury was asked to decide whether she intentionally drowned Kingswealth or if he died as a result of an accident. After nearly nine hours of deliberation, the jury concluded that she killed her kid on purpose.