Mother killed children 'to punish her former partner'

A mother suffocated her two children to get back at their father for rejecting her, a court heard yesterday.

Former City financier Fiona Donnison, 45, murdered her children as the "ultimate and final weapon" against her former partner, after he began seeing another woman, a jury heard.

Three-year-old Harry and two-year-old Elise Donnison were suffocated on January 26 last year. Both were in their pyjamas when found by police officers in the boot of Donnison's Nissan car around the corner from their former family home.

At around 10.45am on January 27, the defendant handed herself in to police and said she had killed her children. Christine Laing QC, prosecuting, said that after killing the children at her rented home, Donnison had gone to the former family home armed with two kitchen knives. "We suggest the purpose of her doing so was that having informed Paul Donnison of the deaths of the children, the defendant also intended to kill him and no doubt blame him for killing the children," she said.

However she added that Mr Donnison was not at the house and did not return that night or the next morning.

Miss Laing said the defendant would claim to be suffering from depression, adding: "We say that responsibility lies not as a result of any mental illness but we say as a result of her personality."

Donnison denies two charges of murder.