A mother charged with murdering her autistic son, 10, was brought to court today as her celebrity photographer ex-husband told how he would never forget his ‘beautiful, bright and inquisitive’ boy.
Olga Freeman, 40, was before Uxbridge Magistrates Court this afternoon accused of killing her child Dylan, who she had with former partner Dean Freeman.
She was seen in the police van before she was brought into the dock to hear the murder charge against her and be told she would be remanded in custody until her Old Bailey appearance on Wednesday.
It came as her photographer ex told how he had been a ‘beautiful, bright, inquisitive and artistic child’ whose loss he could not begin to comprehend.
Mr Freeman is currently in Spain and his representative said when he heard the shocking and heart-breaking news he was ‘beyond devastated’.
They added: ‘He was a loving and caring father and even though divorced for a number of years, he cherished all the quality time spent with his son’.
In a statement, Mr Freeman added: ‘Dylan was a beautiful, bright, inquisitive and artistic child who loved to travel, visit art galleries and swim. We travelled extensively over the years together spending such memorable time in places including Brazil, France and Spain. I can’t begin to comprehend his loss.’
The representative continued: ‘Dean has been touched by the messages of support he’s received from friends and asks that the media respects his and his family’s privacy at this awful time.’
Mrs Freeman was charged after a woman walked into a police station in the early hours of Sunday to speak to officers.
Police then found Dylan dead at the family home in Cumberland Park, Acton, west London. Mrs Freeman appeared in court today to only answer her name before being told to appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
Neighbours said the youngster – who had severe autism – had to use a wheelchair, had a number of disabilities and was unable to speak.
His father Mr Freeman is renowned in the photography world for his candid pictures of stars, including David Beckham and the Spice Girls.
He is the son of Robert Freeman, responsible for some music’s most iconic album covers, including The Beatles’ Rubber Soul masterpiece.
Mrs Freeman, who is originally from Moscow, is registered as living in the property, which has an estimated value of £544,000.
Dylan is understood to have lived with his mother. Officers have not confirmed the child’s identity and are still awaiting formal identification.
A neighbour said they had been told she and Mr Freeman had now separated.
In 2011 he credited his wife and son in a book by singer Michael Buble, showing behind the scenes glimpses of the American multi-million.
He said: ‘Love to my amazing wife Olga and son Dylan. You are my world.’
Dylan was named in publicly available court details released this morning.
Rakesh Shukla told MailOnline that he helped care for Dylan last year but had to give up the job as he found it too demanding.
Mr Shukla, 25 who lives in Acton, West London said: ‘‘He had a lot of disabilities, couldn’t speak and was prone to sudden outbursts, when he’d start kicking his arms and legs and throwing things around.’
He added: ‘My work involved taking him out to the park for a couple of hours so that Olga could have some time to herself. I only did it about three or four times, but it was too much for me so had to tell her that I couldn’t continue. I found it very stressful so I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her.
‘I only saw her last week and she looked really drained and tired.’
Another neighbour, who lives opposite the crime scene, said she would often see a little boy leaving the property in a specially adapted van.
Gillian Fisher, 34, said: “I don’t know who the family were but if the little boy is who I think he is, I used to see him being taken to school in his wheelchair in a specially adapted van.”
Neighbour Abby Gorton, who earlier spoke to detectives at length, said lockdown had made things difficult.
She said: ‘It’s a tragedy. She was in a desperate situation and lockdown has made it more desperate.
‘He was a very very severely disabled child and she had no help.
‘He was very autistic, he didn’t speak, he would only scream and flail.
‘I always felt terribly sorry for her and should’ve done more to help her.
‘I barely saw her with any other adults, any other help – and in lockdown nothing.’
Reverend Nick Jones, 61, the rector of Acton, who lives on Cumberland Park, said news of the boy’s death was ‘shattering’.
He said: ‘I’m still shaking a bit, it’s hugely upsetting.’
Another neighbour said he was ‘in shock’ and that police cars and a private ambulance arrived at the scene at around 2.30am on Sunday.
Next of kin have been informed and detectives from Specialist Crime are investigating.
A post-mortem examination will be arranged in due course.
Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to call the incident room on 020 8721 4205.
It comes just days after a man in his 20s was shot dead by a hooded gunman on the doorstep of his £500,000 northwest London home – the 78th murder this year in the capital.
Armed officers swooped on Hansel Road, Kilburn, in the early hours of August 13 after reports of a shooting.
Neighbours say they heard ‘several gunshots’ before two hooded men were seen fleeing the scene in a car, whose driver had been waiting nearby.
When police arrived they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound near to a block of flats – where forensic teams have today been seen collecting evidence.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene, despite efforts by paramedics to save him.
He was later named as 26-year-old Jeffrey Wegbe who lived in Brent.
His family said: ‘Our beloved Jeffrey was killed on Wednesday morning in what can only be described as a senseless violent attack.
‘Understandably, we are distraught by the news and ask that you keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.
‘We would also like to say a huge thank you to the family, police and wider community for all their support.’