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Murder accused Fiona Donnison attempted to self harm

29 July 11 13:43
Elise and Harry Donnison

A mother accused of murdering her two children tried to harm herself in a mental health unit because she could not see a future, a court has heard.

Fiona Donnison, 45, was stressed by meetings she was having with her legal advisers but had not become psychotic, a doctor told Lewes Crown Court.

She swallowed a razor blade on 23 January, almost a year after she is alleged to have killed Harry and Elise.

Ms Donnison, of Lightwater, Surrey, denies two counts of murder.

The bodies of Harry, three, and Elise, two, were found in holdalls in the boot of a car near the former family home in Heathfield, East Sussex.

The prosecution claims Ms Donnison killed the children to hurt their father, Paul Donnison, 48, after the breakdown of their relationship.

Jurors have heard claims she was suffering from depression and was not in her right mind at the time.

The attempt at self-harm took place while lawyers were preparing for the murder trial, the court was told on Friday.

Ms Donnison removed a blade from a pencil sharpener and swallowed it after hearing a female voice.

Dr Mari Harty, from the Shaftesbury medium-secure mental health clinic, said she asked Ms Donnison if she had suicidal plans but she denied it.

"But she said that her future didn't matter to her," she told the court.

Dr Harty said she did not believe the incident of self harm was evidence Ms Donnison was psychotic.

"I was very concerned about her suicidal risk and how we were to manage her," she said.

"She said she didn't have the courage to commit suicide although she said it would be better if she was not here.

"She was vague in her account of the voice she heard by her ear and it was short-lived. I wasn't convinced that she had become psychotic."

Following the self-harm incident, Ms Donnison was placed on five-minute observations by nursing staff.

Later, she told nursing staff that she would not be able to cope with a trial.

The case was adjourned to Monday.

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