Monday 26 February 2018

Mother is found guilty of 'abominable' child murders

Alex Diaz in Girona

A WOMAN who killed her young son and daughter in a Spanish hotel room has been found guilty of their "abominable" murders.

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

A jury at the Provincial Court in Girona, north-east Spain, found her guilty of murder charges after deciding she was criminally responsible for the children's deaths.

Smith was seeking an acquittal, claiming she was in a state of "psychiatric disturbance" and suffering insurmountable fear when the tragedy happened.

But the jury rejected her claim that she was "totally disturbed" or she was so scared she could not be expected to act in any other way when she committed the murders.

Wearing a dark top, black trousers and flip flops, Smith remained calm when the verdict was read out.

After the verdict was given, Victor Pillado Quintas, for the prosecution, asked for her to be jailed for a total of 34 years.

Judge Adolfo Garcia Morales is expected to release a written sentence in the coming weeks.

Before delivering his closing remarks this week, prosecutor Victor Pillado Quintas said he acknowledged that Smith suffered a "pathological emotional dependence and a psychotic disorder which impaired her faculties" when she killed her children. But he claimed it was not so severe that she could not be held accountable for her crimes.

Suffocating

Instead of a total of 38 years in prison for counts of murder, he is now asking for 34.

During the four-day trial the court had heard how Smith gave her children "the perfect holiday" at the Costa Brava resort before suffocating them with a plastic bag and spending the night beside their lifeless bodies.

The killings, described by the prosecution as "abominable", happened after Smith fled her home in Barcelona with the two children following the arrest of her 46-year-old partner, who had been on the run for child sex offences in Britain.

Martin Smith, a psychic and hypnotist, was extradited the day of the killings. He was subsequently sentenced to 16 years in prison last year, but hanged himself in his cell in January.

Smith had told psychiatrists while on remand that she had felt death was a better outcome for her children than them being taken into care, that she had "killed them out of love", and that she had also intended to take her own life.

Irish Independent

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