Mother 'admitted killing children in Spanish hotel'

A mother has confessed to killing her two children in a Spanish hotel room, court officials said today.





Lianne Smith, 43, was held by police in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava after Rebecca, five, and her 11-month-old brother Daniel were found dead on Tuesday. According to reports, they had been suffocated.



The children died on the same day that Smith's partner Martin Smith, 45, was extradited to Britain to face child sex charges.







One of Britain's most wanted men until his arrest by Spanish police earlier this month, Smith allegedly jumped bail in 2008 while facing charges of rape of a child under 16, gross indecency with a girl under 16, indecent assault of a girl under 16 and attempted rape of a girl under 16.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said they originally attempted to trace his partner and her daughter after they left their home in the area in 2007.



"As soon as we became aware of the arrest of Martin Smith we instigated a welfare check - through authorities in Spain - on Lianne and Rebecca." he said.



"We were informed that they were safe and well. Lianne declined all offers of police help and support and stated her intention to remain in Spain - as was her legal right - and not to return to the UK. At this point we also became aware of the existence of Rebecca's younger brother."



Ms Smith had been a manager in Cumbria County Council's children's services department before the family moved to Staffordshire in October 2007.



It has been reported that Smith, who is believed to have run a nursery in Barcelona, was worried the Spanish authorities would take her children away and that she planned to kill herself, leaving her children with a minder.



But in the end she could not bear to be parted from the youngsters.



The children's nanny said she believed Smith intended to leave the two infants in her care and go off and kill herself.



Mimi Buckley, 21, from Merseyside, told the Daily Mirror: "I think she meant to hire me as a nanny, leave her children with me and then commit suicide. But I don't think she could bear to leave them."



She described the children as "beautiful" and spoke of Rebecca's love of drawing and "girly things".



What happened was "awful", she added.



Two police forces - Staffordshire and Cumbria - have referred the case to the police watchdog.



The Independent Police Complaints Commission will consider the contact they had with the family when they lived in the UK and decide whether it needs to conduct an investigation.



Spanish police are investigating the death of the children, reported to have been suffocated with a plastic bag.



It was suggested in the Spanish press today they died on Monday night rather than Tuesday.



Their mother would have then spent that night in her room in the Hotel Miramar with their bodies, local newspaper El Punt reported.



Post-mortem examinations were carried out yesterday but the results have not been made public as the judge overseeing the investigation has ruled they should be conducted in secret.



They are believed to have confirmed that the children died from suffocation.







Judge Rafael Fernandez ruled today there was evidence that the mother was responsible for the deaths and decided she should be held in custody.

Following the hearing in Blanes, she was transferred to jail in Girona to await trial.



In a statement, court officials said: "Smith spontaneously declared that she had killed her two children."



Martin Smith, originally from North Shields, who is the father of the children, appeared before Carlisle magistrates on Wednesday charged with 13 sexual offences and one for jumping bail.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss