Mother drowned her daughter 'out of fear'

A woman who drowned her four-year-old daughter was ordered to be detained indefinitely at a secure hospital yesterday. Laura Fletcher, 23, drowned Chloe in a bath of cold water before attempting to kill herself, Liverpool Crown Court was told.

Fletcher, of Wallasey, Merseyside, having failed to hang herself, spent two days in the house with her dead child before calling the police from a public call box. Fletcher, who was suffering a serious mental illness, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility last month.

The Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Henry Globe QC, was told that she had killed Chloe because she feared the little girl was going to be taken from her by relatives of the child's father, Dean Marr.