Mother found dead after murdering her children

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A mother is believed to have murdered her three children before setting off on a drive that ended with her own death yesterday.

Curtis Porter, eight, Cherelle, five, and Clinton, four, were found stabbed to death at their home in Thetford, Norfolk, yesterday morning. Less than two hours later the body of their mother, Joy Senior, 29, was discovered lying face down in a pond in woodland three miles away on the Norfolk-Suffolk border.

Last night detectives were examining notes written by Ms Senior which are believed to throw light on the tragedy that unfolded over yesterday morning. Ms Senior was said by neighbours to have become depressed and withdrawn recently. She had also attempted to rejoin the Seventh Day Adventists, a religious group to which she had previously belonged.

At 5.14am yesterday a lorry driver who spotted an abandoned car in a country lane called the police. The car was traced to a Thetford address but police could not get a reply. Half an hour later an officer entered the house and found the children stabbed to death in their bedrooms, with a knife nearby.

Just after 7am police were alerted by a couple out walking their dog that they had seen a woman staggering through woodland off the road from Thetford to Brandon. Less than an hour later Ms Senior's body was found in the pond three-quarters of a mile from the car.

Ms Senior, who was unemployed, had lived apart from the children's father, David Porter, since Clinton's birth. She was popular on the estate where she lived and was regarded as a devoted mother. But friends said that in recent months they had noticed a change in her. Rita Jupp, a neighbour, said: "She used to be fun loving and full of laughter, but ... she became far more quiet and introverted."

Sorrow in Thetford, page 3