Mother killed ‘out of love’

Lianne Smith, 45, arrives for her trial at the Provincial Court in Girona, north-east Spain
Lianne Smith, 45, arrives for her trial at the Provincial Court in Girona, north-east Spain

A BLACKPOOL mum killed her young son and daughter in a Spanish hotel “out of love” for them, a court heard.

Lianne Smith, 45, has admitted smothering five-year-old Rebecca and 11-month-old Daniel with a plastic bag at the Miramar Hotel in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava in May 2010.

The former Lancashire County Council education worker is on trial in Girona, north-east Spain, so a jury can determine whether she is criminally responsible for the children’s deaths.

The killings took place after her partner, Martin Smith, was arrested for sexually abusing a young woman

He was later found guilty of using hypnotism, bullying and violence to groom and sexually abuse his victim.

Giving evidence in court, forensic psychiatrist Itziar Idiaquez Alberdi, said: “She believed the children would be taken away and institutionalised. For her this was worse than death.

“She had spoken about this with her partner. They had talked about taking their own lives if they were separated.

“She was living in permanent fear of what might happen. She killed them out of love.”

Psychiatrist Harry Barker, who treated Smith while she was held in Girona prison, said the defendant saw the deaths of her children as “an unavoidable catastrophe”.

He said she had asked Blackpool-born Rebecca if she would prefer to live a few very happy days with her mother or a long time without her mother. Rebecca replied she wanted to stay with her mother.

The court has previously heard after killing the children, Smith tried to take her own life by cutting herself with razors, covering her head with a plastic bag, hanging herself with telephone cable.

(Proceeding)