There was no warning that an Onaero, Taranaki, woman would bash her two children to death with a sledgehammer and then hang herself the week before Christmas, the New Plymouth Coroner’s Court heard yesterday.

Brenda Fielding, 40, first killed Cameron, 10, and Krystal, 8, and then hanged herself in the garage of the family’s rented beachside home about December 21 last year, coroner Roger Mori said.

Although Mrs Fielding had suffered bouts of depression and received treatment and medication for this, there was no warning she would harm her children, Mr Mori said.

“The deaths were an absolute tragedy.

“They were unexpected and impossible to rationalise.”