A MUM who poisoned her severely disabled son with a noxious substance has been cleared of attempted murder.

Pembe Mehmetaliogullari, 48, was however found guilty by a jury of administering a noxious substance to her 10-year-old son.

She is now awaiting sentencing at Brighton Crown Court following the incident which ended in the death of her adopted son Mustafa.

A pathologist ruled that the boy had been given noxious substances deliberately.

The little lad known as Musti – who had mental and physical disabilities and required round-the-clock care – died three days after being admitted to hospital.

A jury had previously heard how Mustafa had legal drugs in his system which had not been prescribed to him when he died.


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They were in fact some of Mrs Mehmetaliogullari's own antidepressants which she had given to him over a period of time.

Lewes Crown Court in Brighton were previously told how Musti had complex needs, could not speak or swallow, suffered from cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Mrs Mehmetaliogullari of Lower Market Street, Hove, East Sussex, had been caring for Mustafa 24 hours a day for some time with no break after night visits and respite care breaks were cancelled.

Paramedics found the child in bed and unresponsive after his mother dialled 999 in September 2018.

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Doctors at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton treated him for suspected pneumonia.

The 10-year-old, who had a Do Not Resuscitate notice, died three days later on September 30, 2020, after breathing support was withdrawn.

A post-mortem later found traces of antidepressant Citalopram and painkiller Co-codamol in his system.

A spokesman for Sussex Police which investigated Mustafa's death, said: "A woman has been found guilty of administering a noxious substance to her 10-year-old son, but found not guilty of attempted murder.

"Pembe Mehmetaliogullari, of Lower Market Street, Hove, East Sussex, was charged with the attempted murder of her son, Mustafa, and administering a noxious substance with intent.

"She had denied the charges.

"On Friday, following a trial at Brighton Crown Court, a jury convicted her of administering a noxious substance but cleared her of attempted murder. She will be sentenced in due course.

"The court heard that Mustafa, who lived with severe complex physical and mental disabilities, sadly died at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton on September 30, 2018, having been admitted for treatment three days earlier.

"Police were informed and a post-mortem and subsequent toxicology examination established that his death was due to administration of non-prescribed medication.

"It was the prosecution’s case that Mehmetaliogullari had administered Mustafa the drug Citalopram at home and the painkiller Co-codamol to him at the hospital.

"Mustafa and his mother had been living at Eastview Terrace, Sedlescombe, East Sussex, prior to his admission to hospital."


After the case, Detective Sergeant Barry Chandler from the East Sussex Safeguarding Unit said: “This is a tragic case and our thoughts are with Mustafa’s family and friends at this difficult time.

“I would like to thank the members of the jury who carefully considered the evidence put before them and we respect the decision they have made today.

"I’d also like to thank the witnesses and the investigative team who worked so hard on this complex and distressing case.”

Miranda Moore QC had earlier told Lewes Crown Court: “This case is nothing less than a tragedy.

“His mother attempted to kill him when he was in hospital, deliberately and to hasten his death.

“Helping someone to die is not an action that is permitted – even for a loving mother.”

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The drugs "would never be prescribed to a child of his age" the prosecutor said and were instead "prescribed to the defendant”.

Mrs Mehmetaliogullari will be sentenced at a later date.

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