A British mother accused of killing her three disabled children was relieved of murder charges, despite admitting to the killings. The woman admitted to killing her 3-year-old twin sons, Max and Ben, as well as her 4-year-old daughter, Olivia. While her husband was away in South Africa, she became overwhelmed with caring for her children while internalizing feelings of depression and distress. The physical and mental demands she faced became too overwhelming, until she could no longer endure seeing her children in such a tragic state, resulting in a major depressive episode, which lead to the murder of her children.
Tania Clarence admitted to the manslaughter of her children, claiming diminished responsibility due to her mental state at the time. Rather than facing hard jail time, she was sentenced to a an indefinite stay at a hospital, where she would be under constant supervision as per section 37 of the Mental Health Act, according to Metro U.K. Her release would be determined by doctors that feel her mental state of mind had recovered from the illness that coerced the killing of her children.
Clarence was seen pictured with her surviving daughter last Sunday, after her release from the hospital. Her stay lasted only three months. According to Justice Sweeney, Clarence was a loving and caring mother that became consumed by depression that she internalized due to a lack of support while caring for her disabled children, each of which suffered from a rare disease called type 2 spinal muscular atrophy. The older daughter, 8, was in South Africa with her father on business. His solicitor form outside the court stated that medical professionals may be to blame for the pressure Tania felt.
‘Tania’s depression was certainly not assisted by the constant pressure placed on the family by some individuals within the medical profession and social services who could not agree with Tania and Gary Clarence’s stance of prioritising quality of life for their children,’
The BBC reported that an autopsy revealed the children to be well cared for and in good health, despite their medical condition, up until their murder. The evidence showed that Tania did her best to take care of the kids until the pressure became too much for her to bear. When the children were found, each was tucked into their bed with stuffed animals surrounding them, as though they were ready for a full night’s sleep.
Despite her release, Tania Clarence will remain under further treatment and observation to assist in maintaining optimal mental health.
[Photo Courtesy: Metro U.K.]