A court has heard the tragic details of how Tania Clarence killed her disabled twin sons and daughter before attempting to take her own life.
The 43-year-old mother, who has a history of depression, has already admitted the manslaughter of Olivia, four, and three-year-old twins Ben and Max at the family’s London home in April this year.
All three children had previously suffered from SMA type 2, a condition which weakens muscles and Mrs Clarence had previously told doctors how they ‘cannot understand what it is like every day of your life knowing that your children would die before you’.
She reportedly ran sobbing from the courtroom as the trial heard how the three children were found dead in their beds, with toys arranged around their heads.
Prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC compared the discovery of the children’s bodies to dignitaries lying on a ‘bier’, the stands on which corpses are placed in state before burial.
She added: ‘Each boy lay on his bed, on his back, with their eyes open and their mouths open.
‘Little cars and toys had been placed by their heads. The covers were neatly tucked in and their arms were on top of the covers at their sides.’
The court also heard how she killed her sons first using a nappy, before killing Olivia. However, she found it much harder to kill her daughter, and wrote a letter to her husband before doing so.
The grisly scene was then discovered by the children’s nanny, Jade, who entered the house with friend Daniel Magagnin after Lawrence’s mother had been worried at her inability to make contact with her daughter.
Upon discovering Clarence, she told the nanny ‘It’s too late, it’s too late. There’s nothing you can do to help them.’
Concluding the case, Zoe Johnson QC added: ‘Tania Clarence’s rational belief that she didn’t want to prolong her children’s lives became distorted into an irrational decision to kill her disabled children, a decision she had formed well in advance of the killings.’