Man filmed his children before choking them

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The Independent Online

A jealous husband filmed a "farewell video" featuring his two young children days before strangling them to death in a "spiteful reaction" to the breakdown of his marriage, a court heard yesterday.

Petros Williams, 37, denies killing his four-year-old daughter, Yolanda, and his son, Theo, two, at their home last October.

Manchester Crown Court heard how the father urged his children to bid farewell to their mother in the home-made film, which was played to the jury during emotional scenes yesterday in the courtroom.

The court heard how Mr Williams was driven by a "spiteful reaction" to the breakdown of his marriage after his wife, Morongoe, 30, had started to contact other men on internet dating websites.

Andy Thomas, QC, prosecuting, said the defendant purposely chose internet cables from the family computer to kill his children as a "symbolic act of punishment" to his wife. Among the notes left on the computer, one read: "Mo, use the internet as much as you like. Love Petros", which Mr Thomas suggested may have been a "sarcastic reference" to her online activities.

Both children featured in the video, which showed Mr Williams initially asking the children about their mother's whereabouts. The daughter responds "Gone", before the father is heard to say: "Daddy will take you to school in the morning." In the video, Williams later joins them on the sofa and tells them: "Say bye [to] mummy." His daughter does so and both children are seen smiling and waving to the camera.

Mr Thomas said: "It is hard to say why the defendant made the video at the time and whether he had decided to take the drastic action he took two days later."

The tape was among a host of handwritten notes found at his flat in Whalley Range, Manchester, after his wife discovered their bodies last October.

Beginning her testimony, Lesotho-born Ms Molemohi said her husband had a "temper", which he blamed on his steroid use.

The court heard that a week before the children were murdered, Ms Molemohi had walked out on her husband and moved into a nearby hotel. She left the children with her husband while she looked for a new family home.

She did not conceal from her husband the fact that she was accessing dating sites on the family computer, she told the court, and said she had felt "neglected" in the temperamental marriage, which featured infidelity on both sides, and that on one occasion he had tried to strangle her.

The trial continues.