Mother 'killed kids' after father's child-sex arrest
Published 20/05/2010 | 05:00
A BRITISH mother allegedly suffocated her two children with plastic bags in a Spanish hotel room after their father was arrested over child sex offences.
Spanish newspaper reports claim Lianne Smith (43) wrote a letter in which she said she killed her five-year-old daughter Rebecca and 11-month-old son Daniel because she feared they would be taken into care.
Her husband, Martin Anthony Smith (45), had been missing for more than two years after failing to answer police bail, and had been one of Britain's most wanted men before he was arrested on May 7 in Barcelona.
He was deported to Britain on Tuesday, the day Mrs Smith was arrested after police found her children's bodies in room 101 at the Miramar Hotel in Lloret de Mar, 50 miles from Barcelona.
She had pinned a note to the door of the hotel room saying: "Please do not disturb. My children are ill."
Emergency services had been called to the four-star hotel after Mrs Smith called reception at 2pm and said: "Call an ambulance and the police." When the hotel staff asked why, she replied: "You will see."
Police found the children's bodies lying on their beds, carefully covered with a blanket. Reports in Spain said officers found a note in the room in which Mrs Smith allegedly confessed to killing them and explained her motive.
"She said she had many problems with the British authorities, who wanted to put the children in care," said a source close to the investigation.
Officers on the case are convinced that Mrs Smith, an education officer from Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, had made her plans when she checked into the £53-a-night hotel on Saturday, paying in advance for four nights. Police have not ruled out the possibility that the children had been drugged before they were killed.
An investigating judge will decide whether to charge Mrs Smith with "premeditated murder". Mrs Smith, who also has a son and a daughter from a previous marriage, is thought to have been living with her husband in Barcelona -- where it is believed she ran classes for pre-school children -- since they left their home in Lichfield, Staffs in December 2007. They had been renting a £750-a-month flat.
Last night, one neighbour said: "She always seemed happy. She'd buy her daughter colouring books and stickers and leave with a smile on her face and a polite 'goodbye'."
Mr Smith, a professional medium, had been arrested in November 2007 after a young woman alleged she had been sexually abused by him over a 10-year period from 1995 to 2005. He denied the allegations and was released on bail while detectives gathered more evidence, but disappeared before police could charge him.
He was placed on an international list of Britain's 50 most wanted fugitives.
Mr Smith was remanded in custody yesterday after appearing before magistrates in Carlisle, Cumbria, charged with 13 child sex offences. (© Daily Telegraph, London)