Accused mother 'could not say children's names'

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The Independent Online

A mother accused of murdering her two children was suffering depression at the time of their deaths and for months afterwards was unable to say their names, a court heard.

Fiona Donnison, 45, could only refer to her children, Harry, three, and Elise, two, as "my younger children" following their deaths, the jury at Lewes Crown Court was told. Their bodies were found in holdalls in the boot of her car.

Former City worker Ms Donnison walked into Heathfield police station in East Sussex in a distressed state on January 27 last year and told police she had killed them. Prosecutors allege that she murdered the youngsters to hurt their father, Paul Donnison, 48, following the breakdown of their relationship. She denies two counts of murder.

Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Mari Harty, of the Shaftesbury medium-secure mental health clinic in London, assessed Ms Donnison and said: "She was depressed and the threshold for violence is reduced with depression."

The trial continues.