Father who killed children while wife was away jailed for 35 years — (The Guardian)

SSRI Ed note: Man on medication for "bipolar disorder" drowns his children while his wife is out. Mental illness blamed.

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The Guardian

Samuel, who had been admitted to psychiatric hospitals on a number of occasions since 1998, called the emergency services and told the operator “there’s a problem with the children”, Mold crown court heard. The youngsters were found in the bath and were taken to hospital but died within an hour. A postmortem examination revealed they had both died from asphyxiation. Samuel has never given a reason for the killings and has not spoken to his lawyer about it.

He pleaded guilty to murder. The court was told he was afraid that his partner might have been having an affair.

During the course of the day, Ms Graham had called home to check on the welfare of her children and during her last call, when Samuel had already killed their children, he told her: “You don’t love me.”

Gerrard Elias QC, prosecuting, said: “Samuel had become depressed following a separation in 2006 and complained about her association with another man. He said she was spending more time socialising and away from home, particularly clubbing, while he stayed at home looking after the children. He said she once complained she was sick of living with a dithering old man.”

He told the court that a psychiatric nurse who dealt with Samuel while he was on remand at Altcourse prison, in Liverpool, said the defendant told him he drowned Aiden in the bath and when his sister became distressed he had done the same to her. Mr Riordan added: “His behaviour on the day in question appeared to be completely normal – a visit to McDonald’s, watching fireworks, sending his children up for a bath. Whatever was going through his mind, whatever caused him to do what he did remains inside his head.”

Sentencing him, Judge John Rogers QC said he believed that the murders were motivated by Samuel’s malice towards the children’s mother.

In a statement issued after the sentence, Ms Graham said: “No prison sentence will ever be long enough to excuse taking away the lives of my beautiful babies or to justify the living nightmare that this man has put me and my family through. Nothing can excuse what he did.”