“Mrs Ariyaratnam took prescription medication and filled up the bathtub before placing her fully clothed children in it and walking away.”
Mother Jailed 3-Years For Killing Twin Babies
A DEPRESSED mother who drowned her seven-month-old twins in a bathtub was today sentenced to three years in prison.
In the WA Supreme Court today, Justice Michael Murray sentenced Rita Ariyaratnam to two three-year sentences, to be served concurrently.
She has been in custody since July last year and could be released within four months.
Mrs Ariyaratnam, 32, was originally charged with murder, but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges.
Justice Murray described it as a tragic case.
“It is sufficient to say that this was a culmination of a process that reeks of tragedy,” he said.
She was made eligible for parole and could be released from the Franklin Centre at Graylands Hospital in four months.
The court was told the mother had suffered from bipolar disorder and severe depression.
Mrs Ariyaratnam took prescription medication and filled up the bathtub before placing her fully clothed children in it and walking away.
In a subsequent interview with police, she said the children “just kept crying, crying and crying”.
“I thought that my children would not die, that they would come with me and we would ‘live together’,” she said.
She told doctors at Graylands where she has been treated there was no punishment great enough to redeem what she had done.
The prosecutor said she had attempted suicide several times and remained a high risk of self-harm.
Mrs Ariyaratnam and her twins Sophie and Lachlan were found unconscious by her husband Selvin Ariyaratnam, the children’s father, at the family’s house in Cloverdale, on July 6, 2009.
Attempts to revive the twins were unsuccessful and they were pronounced dead on arrival at Princess Margaret Hospital.