Mum who drowned IVF twins ‘to get back at estranged husband’ is jailed
A mum who drowned her "miracle" IVF twins on Boxing Day after her husband left her has been jailed for 10 years.
Samantha Ford killed her 23-month-old toddlers Jake and Chloe in the bath and then tried to die by suicide when she crashed her car into the back of a lorry at 100mph, later telling police: "I've killed my babies. Please let me die."
Her lawyer claims she was suffering from "a catastrophic level" of acute depression "leading her to believe that she and the children needed to die".
But prosecution psychiatrists believe she may have been exaggerating her illness, claiming she killed her twins in a fit of "narcissistic rage", had a "homicide/suicide fantasy" and carried it out in an act of "retaliation and punishment" against her estranged husband Steven.
Ford, 38, admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility but denied murdering the twins at her home near Margate, Kent.
And she was today locked up for 10 years.
The twins’ father Steven Ford attended the hearing. After the killings, he tweeted: “Daddy’s twins xxx my beautiful babies. I love you.”
In a later tweet he said: “I want the world to see my beautiful babies. Jake and Chloe forever xxx.”
Sentencing Ford, Judge Andrew Edis QC said: “You had killed the children within half an hour of their return to you by their grandparents.
“You killed them, dressed them, dried them and placed them back in their beds, their bodies facing away from each other towards the wall. You wrote the note and quickly left.
“The loss of these two young lives is a tragedy which will haunt their father and other members of two families for the rest of their lives. I accept it will also haunt you because you loved the children.
"You decided not to kill yourself and not to jump off the cliff, although that had been your plan. On your journey back from the cliff in your car you decided to drive in to the rear of a truck in a suicide attempt.
“This was very controlled behaviour and not impulsive or frenzied. You had been considering doing this for some time as your Google searches demonstrated.
“I accept you are a serious risk of suicide still.”
She was experiencing a "homicide/suicide fantasy" which was "in play as a way of retaliation and of punishment of Mr Ford for leaving her – a sense of 'this is what you made me do'", a prosecution psychiatrist told the court.
After the deaths, Ford claimed she had heard voices telling her to kill her children – claims that she hadn't made previously, the court heard.
While she was being held in a mental health hospital she was "fixated" on Mr Ford and wanted to know he was "suffering", a court heard on Friday.
Defence expert witness Gillian Mezey, a Professor of Psychiatrist, told the court: "My understanding is that the impulse, the thought about killing her children was something that only occurred very shortly before the children's death and that's certainly what she said to me.
"She killed the children knowing that she was about to kill herself and having determined that was what she was about to do.
"I concluded that she had developed a depressive illness, I felt that it was severe in nature."
The Fords had spent their first 10 years of marriage living in Qatar, but when they moved back to the UK "emotionally controlling" and "materialistic" Samantha was angry at leaving their lavish lifestyle behind and wanted to return to the Middle East, the Old Bailey heard.
Their marriage deteriorated and they split in November last year, with Samantha and the twins moving into a rented house near Margate.
The court heard Ford had sent a message on Christmas Day, telling someone: "I just need to end. I just need something to strike him to make him know what he's doing."
In the weeks leading up to the deaths, Ford's health had rapidly "deteriorated" and she had Googled methods of suicide and murder.
Prosecutor Tom Kark QC told a July hearing that Samantha had sent multiple text messages to Mr Ford, 36, including one which read: "You have ripped my world apart".
He added: "She was very upset that the relationship had broken down and didn't like the idea of becoming a single mother."
After drowning the twins, Ford got into her Ford Galaxy and crashed into the back of a lorry at 100mph without a seatbelt on.
She survived the smash on the London-bound carriageway of the A299 Thanet Way, near Whitstable, just before 3am on December 27.
When rescuers arrived at the scene, she told police: "I've killed my babies. Please let me die.
"I put them in the bath. We were meant to be together."
She added: I would never hurt them, they are my miracle babies."
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