Mother gets 30 years for murdering children
A British woman who murdered her two young children in a hotel at a seaside resort on Spain's Costa Brava in May 2010 was sentenced to 30 years in jail by a Spanish court yesterday.
Lianne Smith (45), admitted suffocating her 11-month-old son Daniel, and daughter Rebecca, who was nearly six, as they slept in the northeastern town of Lloret de Mar, in Catalonia.
Smith herself alerted hotel staff, more than 17 hours after the deaths, asking reception to call police and medics.
"When she described what happened, she related how she took them from their beds asleep, held their legs between her legs to stop them from moving and put the plastic bag over their heads until they suffocated," said a court statement.
Her defence argued during the trial that she was too mentally disturbed to be held responsible for her actions, but the provincial court of Girona handed down two 15-year prison sentences for each of the deaths.
The murders happened a few days after her partner, Martin Smith, was extradited back to Britain on sexual abuse charges. He was sentenced to 16 years in jail for raping a girl under 16 in the UK in May last year, and was found hanged in his prison cell in January.
Smith was arrested on May 7 in Barcelona, two years after he failed to answer bail in connection with a range of sex offences, according to Crimestoppers.