Mikaeel Kular: Mother charged with murder

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THE mother of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular, whose disappearance sparked a huge two-day search, was charged with murder when she appeared in court yesterday.

Rosdeep Kular, 33, who appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, is also accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. She made no plea or declaration and is due to return to court next Tuesday.

A security van believed to be carrying Mikaeel's mother arriving at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Reuters

A security van believed to be carrying Mikaeel's mother arriving at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Reuters

Kular, who appeared before Sheriff Frank Crowe under her married name of Rosdeep Adekoya, was remanded in custody and committed for further examination.

At no point was she visible to the media or members of the public who had waited inside and outside the court building.

Earlier, the flashes of several photographers’ cameras greeted a G4S van and hefty police escort which brought her to court at around midday.

The hearing did not take place until 4pm, and lasted just five minutes.

Bouquets and soft toys in Edinburgh. Picture: PA

Bouquets and soft toys in Edinburgh. Picture: PA

The handful of people who went to watch had grown to more than 20 by the time she left, shortly after 4pm.

During Kular’s brief appearance, a police officer stood between two sets of doors separating the court and foyer, with a security guard standing in front of him. As the appearance drew to a close, the guard radioed colleagues to make sure the rear doors to the court were clear.

Kular reported Mikaeel missing from the family home in Ferry Gait Crescent, Edinburgh, on Thursday.

She said he had gone to sleep at 9pm and had disappeared by morning.

She called police at 7:15am on Thursday, triggering a major search in which hundreds of people volunteered to help police, many looking for Mikaeel through Thursday night and into Friday.

The search party combed grass and woodland by the Cramond shoreline on Friday morning, hoping to find some sign of the youngster.

The coastguard also took part in the search and two helicopters were deployed.

However, the toddler’s body was found in Kirkcaldy, Fife, shortly before midnight that day.

On Saturday, police confirmed that a 33-year-old woman had been arrested and charged in connection with his death. The detail of the charges was not known until yesterday.

Some members of the public who took part in the search stood outside court yesterday.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said: “When we first found out he was missing, myself and some friends went out to look for him.

“It was devastating when they found the body. Especially with it being a three-year-old – he was just at the start of his life.”

Another woman, a mother of two from Dreghorn, had been in the city centre and went with her seven-month-old son to see Kular arrive.

“There were five of us planning on joining the search on Saturday,” she said.

“I was up with my son on Friday night and I put the news on to find out what was happening, and that was when I found out he was dead. It was heartbreaking. It is so sad.”

Kular’s next appearance in court will also be in private, the Crown Office has said.

No further information on the charges will be available until the accused has been indicted and appeared in open court, the Crown added.

Kular’s address was given as Edinburgh in court.

She is understood to have previously lived in Dunvegan Avenue, Kirkcaldy, before moving to Edinburgh about 18 months ago.

Mikaeel was born while the family was living in Kirkcaldy and his body was found in woodland close to the family bungalow.

A fingertip search continued around the property yesterday. Both the home and the wooded area were taped off as uniformed officers joined forensic specialists at the crime scene.

Local residents created a makeshift shrine with floral tributes, cards and soft toys on the pavement outside the bungalow. Flowers and soft toys have also been left outside his home in Edinburgh.

Mikaeel had been a nursery pupil at Flora Stevenson Primary School but had not attended since before Christmas, police said.

Neighbours described him as quiet and shy but always smiling. He was one of five children, and had a twin sister with whom he usually shared a bedroom.

Hundreds of people attended a memorial service for Mikaeel at Muirhouse St Andrew’s Church in Edinburgh, less than a mile from his home, on Saturday evening.

Many of those who carried candles and released Chinese lanterns into the night sky had taken part in the search.

Police Scotland have arrested two men over allegedly racist comments on Twitter relating to the disappearance.

The two men, aged 19 and 26, were questioned and released on bail.

“We are investigating the message to assess whether any criminal offences have been committed,” a police spokesman said.