Letter from murder-charge mother tells of 'wonderful holiday'

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The Independent Online

A mother who has admitted killing her two children in a Spanish hotel spoke of giving them a "short and wonderful holiday" prior to their deaths, it was disclosed today.

Rebecca Smith, five, and her 11-month-old brother Daniel were found dead at the Hotel Miramar in Lloret de Mar, on the Costa Brava, on May 18.

Their mother, Lianne Smith, who is now in custody, admitted asphyxiating them with a plastic bag, Spanish court officials said.

In a letter seen by the Daily Mail, Mrs Smith said she fled her home in Barcelona and headed to the resort because people were trying to "take my children".

The letter reads: "...an attempt was made to take my children.

"Fortunately I got out of the city with them and gave them a short and wonderful holiday before the events you will start to hear about in the press."

The family fled from the UK in 2007 after the children's father, Martin Smith, 45, was arrested over alleged child sex offences.

Smith, originally from North Shields, was one of Britain's most wanted men until Spanish police tracked him down and arrested him earlier this month.

Mrs Smith has said she was worried the authorities would take her children from her.

The letter also says Mrs Smith believed events were "turning" against her.

She explains that she headed for the resort as she had spent three weeks there with her partner when they first moved to Spain in 2007.

Spanish police have said she tried to kill herself before she was arrested in connection with her children's deaths.

Mrs Smith, 43, was transferred to prison last Friday after a judge in Blanes, near Lloret de Mar, ruled that a case should be brought against her.

A document detailing last Friday's court hearing read: "Smith spontaneously declared that she had killed her two children.

"Asked if she wanted to be present when the two bodies were removed, she declined as she said she had already said goodbye to her two children."

She was formerly a manager at Cumbria County Council's children's services department but did not work directly with children.

Her partner appeared before Carlisle magistrates earlier this month charged with 13 sexual offences and one count of jumping bail.