Lichfield Mum admits suffocating children

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A jury are deciding if a Staffordshire mum is guilty of murdering her two children in Spain.

45 year old Lianne Smith 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.

A jury of seven men and two women at the Provincial Court in Girona, north-east Spain, will decide whether she is criminally responsible for the children’s deaths.

They will be assisted by two further jury members who take part in deliberations but do not have a vote.

Smith’s claiming she was in a state of “psychiatric disturbance” and suffering insurmountable fear when the tragedy happened.

Prosecutor Victor Pillado Quintas said that, after hearing the evidence, he acknowledges that Smith suffered a `psychotic disorder which impaired her faculties” when she killed her children.

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

Even if Smith is cleared of the charges, judge Adolfo Garcia Morales can still remand her in a psychiatric ward until she is considered fit to be released.

The killings took place shortly after Smith’s partner, Martin Smith, was arrested in Barcelona by Spanish police acting on a European Arrest Warrant.

The family had been living in Spain since 2007 after fleeing Lichfield, Staffordshire, because Smith’s eldest daughter by her first husband had accused Mr Smith of sexually abusing her.

After her partner was deported to the UK, where he was found hanged in jail after being convicted of grooming and sexually abusing Smith’s eldest daughter Sarah Richardson – who has waived her right to anonymity – Smith thought British social services were in Spain to take her children away from her.

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