Mother is arrested on suspicion of murder after three children 'with life-limiting genetic disabilities' found dead in south London

Couple living at address named locally as City worker Gary Clarence and his wife Tania, a full-time carer to their four children

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The mother of three young children believed to be suffering from “life-limiting genetic disabilities” has been arrested after they were found dead at an address in south-west London.

The bodies were found last night at a large, semi-detached family home in New Malden, police said. A four-year-old girl and two three-year-old boys were pronounced dead at the scene.

The couple living there have been named locally as Gary and Tania Clarence, originally from South Africa, who moved to the London suburb a year ago with their three children.

Neighbours said that the three younger children who lived at the house were suffering from apparently life-limiting genetic disorders. The eldest child, a girl around seven or eight years old, was described as being in good health.

A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said a 42-year-old woman remained in custody, and that police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

Police were called to the house, on Thetford Road, at around 9.30pm yesterday, and forensics officers spent the night removing bags of evidence. Post mortem examinations were expected to be carried out later today.

A neighbour today described the Clarences as "a very, very lovely couple", adding: "I saw them all the time about with their children."

She said the father works in the City and the mother is a full-time carer for her children.

They moved into the house about a year ago after it underwent a "massive" refurbishment, including the installation of a lift.

Ethel Winstanley, who lives opposite the couple, said she met the family last summer and congratulated them on the “ transformation” of the house after its refurbishment.

"The man was called Gary, that is all I know. We went across to say 'Congratulations, you have made the street look wonderful'."