Samantha Ford: Margate mother who drowned twins sentenced

Image source, Steven Ford
Image caption,
Jake and Chloe Ford died at a house in Margate, Kent on 26 December last year

A mother who drowned her twins in the bath as an act of "revenge" against her estranged husband has been given a 10-year sentence.

Samantha Ford, 38, killed 23-month-old Jake and Chloe on 26 December after their father Steven Ford left her.

Ford denied murder and prosecutors at the Old Bailey accepted her earlier guilty plea to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Mr Justice Edis said Ford would begin her sentence in a psychiatric hospital.

She will complete her sentence in jail after receiving treatment, he said.

Image source, Facebook
Image caption,
Samantha Ford became angry over leaving her affluent lifestyle in Qatar, the Old Bailey heard

The judge told Ford: "The horror of what happened does not need any explanation by me.

"Anyone with any imagination can envisage for themselves what must have happened in that bathroom.

"It is unlikely that they died simultaneously and it must have taken some time and required some determination," he said.

He said Ford was "preoccupied" with her husband and her anger was a "significant contributory factor".

"You knew it would devastate him and I'm sure that is a reason why you did it."

'I've killed my babies'

The twins' bodies were found in a house in Margate, Kent, after Ford had tried to take her own life.

She drove without a seatbelt at about 100mph into the back of a lorry.

The court heard she told police: "I've killed my babies. Please let me die."

Image caption,
Toys were left outside the twins' house after their deaths

Ford had been angry about leaving her affluent lifestyle in Qatar for Charing, Kent, last year, prosecutors said.

In November, the couple split and Ford moved to a rented house in Castle Drive, Margate.

"She was very upset that the relationship had broken down and didn't like the idea of becoming a single mother," prosecutor Tom Kark QC said.

A psychiatrist told the court Ford had killed her children in an act of "retaliation and punishment" against Mr Ford.

In a victim impact statement read out a previous hearing, Steven Ford called the killings "the most heinous, spiteful act on two innocent children".

"I have no doubt [she] did this with the intention of taking her own life and punishing me in the process," he said.

In a tweet from an account which appears to have been set up by Mr Ford, he wrote he was "devastated, disgusted and appalled" by the 10-year sentence, and called on Boris Johnson to "step up and get a handle on tougher sentencing".

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