Blackpool mum spent night with dead children

Lianne Smith
Lianne Smith
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A BLACKPOOL mother killed her young children in a hotel room and spent the night with their bodies, a court has heard.

Lianne Smith, 45, formerly of Milbourne Street, has admitted suffocating daughter Rebecca, five, and 11-month-old son Daniel with a plastic bag at the Miramar Hotel in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava in May 2010.

The killings took place shortly after her partner, Martin Smith, was arrested in Barcelona.

The family had been living in Spain since 2007 after fleeing the UK when Mr Smith was accused of sexually abusing a girl.

The defendant, who worked as an education officer for Lancashire County Council between 2003 and 2005 and also previously lived on Springfield Drive, Thornton, appeared at the Provincial Court in Girona, north-east Spain, for a trial to determine whether she is criminally responsible for the children’s deaths.

Her defence is seeking an acquittal, claiming she was in a state of “psychiatric disturbance” and suffering insurmountable fear when the tragedy happened.

But Victor Pillado Quintas, prosecuting, said in his opening statement: “At around 9pm on May 17, 2010, the defendant was in room 101 with her two children.

“Taking advantage of the trust the children would have had in their mother, she took her son in her arms and put a bag over his head, closing it around his neck.

“She did not stop tightening the bag until she had killed him. Immediately she did the same to the five-year-old, closing the same bag around her neck and tightening it until she killed her daughter.

“After ending the lives of her children she spent the night with their bodies.”

Jenifer Lahoz Abos, defending, told the jury Smith had a “total emotional dependence” on her partner and she was left in a state of psychosis after he was arrested.

She said: “The defendant came to Spain fleeing the British judicial authorities and social services because her husband Martin was accused of sexual abuse, which they considered a totally false accusation.”

She said that after her partner’s arrest, Smith “entered a state of panic and lost contact with reality, interpreting events in a totally distorted manner, with delirious beliefs she was in danger and there was a threat to her life and that of her children”.

The court heard that, after failing in her attempts to commit suicide, she went to the Miramar Hotel reception and asked for the police and an ambulance to be called, and confessed what had happened.

In December 2010, Martin Smith was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of 11 charges of rape, attempted rape, indecency with a child and indecent assault.

He was found hanged in prison in January.