Lianne Smith found guilty of killing her children in Spanish hotel


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The Independent Online

A British woman who smothered her two children in their beds has been found guilty of their "abominable" murders.

Lianne Smith, 45, admitted killing her five-year-old daughter Rebecca and 11-month-old son Daniel in a Spanish hotel in May 2010. Her defence had sought an acquittal, claiming she was in a state of "psychiatric disturbance".

But the jury at the Provincial Court in Girona believed Smith was "fully conscious" when she committed the crime, deciding she was criminally responsible for their murders.

The Lloret de Mar murders happened shortly after Smith's partner, Martin, was arrested in Barcelona by Spanish police acting on allegations of sexual abuse.

The family had been living in Spain since 2007 after fleeing Lichfield, Staffordshire, because Smith's eldest daughter by her first husband accused Martin Smith of raping her.

In December 2010, Martin Smith was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of using hypnosis, bullying and violence to groom and sexually abuse Sarah Richardson, who has waived her right to anonymity.

Last January, the 46-year-old was found hanged in his cell at Strangeways Prison in Manchester.

After Martin Smith was arrested in Spain, Lianne Smith became fearful that the children would be taken from her, and, it was claimed, saw the deaths as an "unavoidable catastrophe".

The court heard that she suffocated them as they slept on the night of 17 May 2010 before attempting to take her own life.