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Mum who killed children to 'get at' their dad jailed

A mother who killed her two children after her relationship with their father broke down has been jailed for life -- and must serve at least 32 years behind bars.

Fiona Donnison (45), a former City of London financial worker, used three-year-old Harry and Elise (2) as the "ultimate pawns" in a vendetta against her former partner, Paul Donnison (48), a jury was told.

The children's bodies were found in holdalls in the boot of their mother's car, near the former family home in Heathfield, East Sussex, in southern England, in January 2010.

Mr Justice Nicol, passing sentence at Lewes Crown Court, said the murders were "deliberate and wicked acts".


The judge added: "The premature end of such young lives would have been a tragedy but this was no accident.

"You killed them, you who were their mother.

"Why you did this defies logical explanation."

Prosecutors said Donnison smothered the children with their bedding the night before putting their bodies in the car.

Her defence team argued that she was depressed at the time and could not remember events surrounding the deaths.

Mr Donnison clenched his fists in the courtroom when his ex-partner was found guilty by a jury after 13 hours of deliberations.

The court heard that after their mum packed her children's bodies in the car, she drove to the home where their father lived and lay in wait for him with two knives.

When he didn't show up, she went to the police the following day and told them: "I've killed my children." She refused to give evidence, and never said why she murdered her children, the court heard.