British mother arrested in Lloret de Mar, as
two children found dead
By h.b. - May 18, 2010 - 5:24 PM
Hotel Miramar -
Lloret de Mar - Brochure Photo
woman and her two children had arrived at a hotel in the town last night
British Children have been found dead at a hotel in Lloret de Mar,
Girona, and their mother has been arrested by the Catalan Police, Los
Mossos d’Esquadra, after confessing to killing them.
It was the mother, reported to be in her 30’s who called the police and
the emergency services, by going down to the hotel reception, but on
their arrival they found the children, a boy aged one and a girl aged
five, already dead in a hotel room.
It’s understood that the woman and the two children were on holiday in
the four star Hotel Miramar on the Paseo Marítimo in Lloret de Mar.
They had arrived their by car on Monday night. Local police received
the alert at 3.53pm on Tuesday afternoon.
The duty judge from Blanes has taken charge of the case. EFE news
agency reports that the children’s bodies showed no signs of violence,
and autopsies are being carried out to establish cause of death.
Read more: http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_26116.shtml#ixzz0oIsikR8u
confesses that (s)he asphyxiated the children in a hotel room
British woman on holiday in Lloret del Mar in Girona region of southern
Spain, with his son and daughter from one year to five. The mother
contacted the hotel reception on the evening of yesterday, and called an
ambulance for medical emergency. The children of one and five years were
transported by emergency medical team and, in accordance with the "El
Mundo" no signs of physical violence. However,
entered the hospital already dead. The accident
happened late on Monday, but today the mother told police site have
stifled their own children.
Police in Girona
alerted authorities of national security at about 14:00 when the
children's mother was arrested at the Miramar hotel in Lloret del Mar.
investigation remains in the hands of local police. Past 18 hours of
the accident, the removal of the bodies has not yet been authorized. The woman
between 30 and 40 years had arrived by car late on Monday, "apparently
to spend a vacation with the children in an area where normal clustering
of British tourists," says El Mundo.
I have been in a dire desperate situation when I had young children. I had been recently bereaved and abandoned.
I still fed them what I could, I still protected them. I would have made sure I would have "gone down" before they did.
Sorry for the rant but this is getting all too common.
10:35am UK, Wednesday May 19, 2010
Exclusive: Dad Of Dead Children 'Most Wanted'
Andy Winter, Sky News Online
Sky News has learned that the father of the two children found
dead in a Spanish hotel room is one of Britain's most wanted criminals.
Martin Smith is charged with 13 sex offences
The bodies of the five-year-old girl and one-year-old boy
were discovered in room 101 at the Hotel Miramar in the resort of Lloret
de Mar on the Costa Brava on Tuesday.
The British woman being questioned over the deaths has confessed to
suffocating the children, according to Spanish police sources.
Martin Smith, 45, from North Shields, was seized in
Barcelona on Friday, more than two years after he failed to
answer bail in the UK.
He was extradited yesterday and Sky News crime correspondent Martin
Brunt said he is due in court in Cumbria today charged with 13 sex
offences, including rape and child sex abuse.
The atmosphere at the Hotel Miramar is
Brunt said: "[Smith] was given the news last night by Cumbria police
that his two children had died and police officers described him as
The children's mother is being questioned after the discovery of the
Police said the 40-year-old was on holiday with her children.
Sources close to the investigation told El Mundo detectives believe
the youngsters were suffocated as they showed no external signs of
The results of post-mortems are expected today or tomorrow.
The mother is now being held in Girona
The woman went to reception shortly before 2pm on Tuesday and
emergency services were called but efforts to save the youngsters
Describing the scene outside the hotel, Errington said the atmosphere
She added: "There are still two seals on the door of room 101 signed
by the director-general of the Ministry of Justice of Catalonia stopping
anyone going in.
"The mother is now being held at a nearby town called Blanes but she
will appear in court in the next 24 to 48 hours."
A Google map shows Lloret de Mar, north of
A psychological evaluation is also being carried out on the woman.
After her arrest the woman was taken to her hotel room by police and
an investigating judge to help them reconstruct events leading up to the
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said consular
staff were in contact with the police.
She said: "We can confirm that we will be providing consular
assistance to a British national."
Former Scotland Yard detective Mike
Hames told Sky News there was a "good relationship" between British and
Lloret de Mar is a popular destination for British holidaymakers.
While the nightlife attracts an 18-to-30s crowd, the resort is also
popular with families.
The four-star hotel is on the sea front in the former fishing
village, near a large number of bars and restaurants.
The beach hotel, which has 54 rooms, is around 46 miles from
Barcelona near the Cap de Creus Natural Park and a water park.
On travel websites it is said to offer "all comforts and a high
quality service to anyone looking for a beach holiday in Costa Brava".
Does my IP look big in this?
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My torment, by hotel death mum: How woman accused of killing her two
children feared they would be seized after their father's arrest on
Last updated at 7:25 AM on 20th May 2010
The voice at the end of the phone was
strained with anguish. At times Lianne Smith broke down in tears as she
tried to find the words to tell her story.'Martin's gone,' she sobbed. 'I've been left
looking after both of the children. 'I'm trying to get my head together to work
out what to do.'The 43-year-old English teacher and
nursery group leader pleaded for understanding.Her partner, she claimed, had been falsely
accused of being a paedophile by someone known to their family.
don't know how I'll cope: Mother's chilling cry for help days before
her children were found dead in a Spanish hotel room...
They had been on the run in
Spain for three years, convinced that if they returned home their
five-year-old daughter Rebecca and perhaps their 11-month-old son Daniel
would be taken into care by social services.'I feel we took the only action possible,' was
how she put it in the conversation with a publicist she hoped would
help her cause.'It was the
lesser of two evils.'
In custody: Martin Anthony Smith, in a pose to
publicise his career as a spiritualist, was arrested in Barcelona for
child rape last week
Days later, Rebecca and Daniel lay
dead in a hotel room in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava after
apparently being suffocated with a plastic bag.Their bodies were found just hours after the
dramatic extradition of their father to Britain.Martin Anthony Smith, 45, faced Carlisle
magistrates yesterday accused of 13 sexual offences.Lianne, who ran a nursery group for children
aged three to six in Barcelona, is under arrest in Spain.According to Spanish authorities, she
confessed in a note to killing her children, saying she feared that they
would be taken from her following her partner's arrest.It seems that her anguished interview - 'I
just want people to hear my side of the story' - was not enough to
soothe her troubled mind.Somewhere
in the tangled midst of this horror lies the truth about what happened
to this seemingly respectable middle-class family and the disturbing
events leading up to the killing of their two little children.In those few desperate minutes on the phone
last week, Lianne gave an extraordinary insight into her state of mind
and into the past two-and-a-half years since her partner was accused of
child sex offences in November 2007.She talked of a life on the run, fearful of
strangers, unable to confide in new friends for fear of discovery,
unable to tell them of her belief that her partner was an innocent man,
the years she spent as a fugitive were a million miles away from her
life in the West Midlands where she worIt was Lianne's second long-term
relationship. Her previous husband, she said, had left her for someone
else in 1991.She met
Martin, then working as a sound engineer, in October 1992 and he moved
in with her the following January. Rebecca was born in July 2004.'We never married,' she said. 'There were a
couple of almosts, but as we both had the same surname people assumed we
were married and we were happy as we were.'I always thought that we were a close family.
We shared ideas, hopes and fears.'Smith himself was the youngest of four children born in
Newcastle upon Tyne and brought up in a strict Roman Catholic family.After leaving school at 16, his love of music
led him to a job as an apprentice in a recording studio and eventually a
sound engineer with bands in both the U.S. and Britain.A year after meeting Lianne, he claimed he
had psychic powers.'When I
was very young, I remember seeing lights around me when I went to
sleep,' he wrote on a website set up to further his career as a
spiritualist.'It was like
looking at the stars only indoors.'
He embarked on a series of courses,
including one at the UK Centre for Psychic Studies in London, and became
a paid-up member of the Spiritualists' National Union.In 2007, the year he was charged with child
sex abuse, he appeared as a guest psychic on the Living TV show Most
filmed at Brougham Hall, near Penrith in Cumbria, showed him claiming:
'There are active spirits here.'I feel that the Most Haunted crew will pick up something... I
feel they will hear a woman cry.'On November 1 that year, Lianne received a call on her mobile
from Martin, telling her that he had been arrested and was at a police
station.'The shock was
immense,' she said. 'The allegations were shocking.'Never once did I question Martin as to
whether any of it was true or not. If I had had only one small doubt, I
would have ended our relationship.'At the time, the couple had two homes, one in Cumbria where
they had lived before Lianne's job meant she needed to move to Lichfield
in Staffordshire.'When he
was released on bail he drove straight down to Lichfield,' she said.'Martin was really badly affected by the
experience. We appointed a lawyer and every evening wrote up notes on
our life with accompanying original documents as evidence for the case.'Martin, although not wanting to have to
experience prison, was prepared for it if the police did decide to
charge him, as he knew he would win in the end.'But if the couple had originally decided to
stand firm and face the music, all that changed, said Lianne, when two
Staffordshire social workers threatened to take Rebecca, then aged
three, into care.She
claimed: 'They arranged a child protection conference for Becky, where a
group of people, none of whom had ever met Becky, and with only the
opinions of the social workers to guide them, were preparing to take her
into care.'It became
clear, she claimed, that Smith would not be allowed to see his daughter.
The family would be split up.'At that point we decided to take action. We were not prepared
to sit back and be the victims, and for the sake of our daughter we had
to act quickly.'On
December 14, 2007, they left England by boat and drove through France.Before they left, said Lianne: 'We visited
the house for the final time, collecting one bag of essential clothes
each and a small box of toys for my daughter.'Leaving all of our possessions was incredibly
hard - nearly 20 years of home building gone in a day. But we had to do
it for our daughter.'We
knew that Martin not answering bail in January 2008 was an offence, but
to us it was the lesser of two evils.'It took three days to reach Lloret de Mar, a
well-known tourist destination on the Costa Brava.'We stayed there for three weeks,' said
Lianne, 'during which time we started to recover from the immense mental
stress that we had been under in England.'Undoubtedly, she bore the burden of most of
that stress.As a fugitive
from the law, her partner was unable to look for a job for fear of being
discovered.It was left to
her to earn enough to keep a roof over all their heads.She began a course in Barcelona learning how
to teach English as a foreign language. A subsequent job came with an
building a new life in Spain,' she said, pointing out that throughout
the two and a half years they spent there, she paid taxes and took her
daughter, who became a fluent Catalan speaker, to school.Last year she gave birth to Daniel and,
perhaps for a while, really did believe that the new life they had
forged in Spain was real and lasting.But back in the UK, Smith was a wanted man.
When he failed to answer bail on January 21, 2008, he was placed on
Operation Captura's 'most wanted' list.Captura is a joint initiative between the
Crimestoppers charity, the Serious Organised Crime Agency in the UK, the
British Embassy in Madrid and Spanish police.Their aim is to hunt down suspects of serious
crime wanted in the UK who are thought to be living in Spain.A couple of weeks ago, the Barcelona
apartment Lianne shared with Smith and their children was burgled. She
reported it to the police.On
May 8, Smith was arrested. She wondered if it was her fault.'I think they might have put two and two
together somehow.'Over the
next ten days, she struggled to keep things together. It was tough
enough with two young children, she said, when there were two parents to
care for them.The final
blow came when she heard that Smith was being extradited. 'I don't really know how I'll cope,' she
said. 'Keeping my family together' was a phrase she used several times.This is the paradox at the heart of this
tragedy - that a woman apparently so devoted to her children could even
think of harming them.During
the phone conversation, she spoke of how Becky was everything to her
and her partner. She was the focus of their lives.It is impossible, of course, to know what was
going through her mind in the hours leading up to the deaths of her
children in room 101 at the Hotel Miramar in Lloret.According to the respected Spanish newspaper
El Pais, she wrote a confession then calmly asked staff at the
beachfront hotel to phone for the police and an ambulance at around 3pm
on Monday.When a
receptionist asked why, she reportedly replied: 'You will see'. She is believed to have left a note on the
door saying: 'Do not disturb, my children are ill.'Two municipal officers discovered the bodies
of Rebecca and Daniel lying on the beds, carefully covered with a
blanket. They then accompanied Lianne to the hotel reception area.According to the local newspaper Diari de
Girona, she was questioned and returned to the hotel room with the
officers, to help carry out a reconstruction for investigators.When she was finally taken away from the
hotel, shortly after 6.30pm, she was reportedly heckled by a small
crowd.Flowers are still
being laid in front of the four-star hotel by British holidaymakers.
One of the accompanying messages reads: 'Rest
In Peace little ones. God has gained two angels.'Now their parents must stand trial and explain
hindsight, Lianne's final words on the telephone were bitterly ironic.'What crime did we commit?' she demanded to
know, in a moment of intense anger.She has apparently now answered that question herself in the
most heart-rending, brutal manner possible.
Another one who saw her children as her possessions IMO.
I am sure it is only in extreme circumstances where a child wouldnt be safe that there is no contact and no hope of them going home.
The little boy was only 11 months old and I wonder if she is suffering from post natal depression which could have been aggravated by being on the run.