Mother 'Killed Kids To Hurt Their Father'
10:46am UK, Tuesday July 12, 2011
A woman suffocated her two young children and put them in the boot of her car after her relationship with their father broke down, a court has heard.
Harry, three, and Elise, two, were found dead in the boot of their mother's car
Fiona Donnison, 45, suffocated Harry, three, and Elise, two, while wrongly believing their father Paul had started an affair.
The bodies of the children were later found in holdalls in the boot of her Nissan car on the morning of January 27 last year, dressed in pyjamas.
Lewes Crown Court heard they had been suffocated, probably with a pillow or some other form of bedding.
Opening the trial on Monday, prosecutor Christine Laing QC said Donnison - a former City worker who had enjoyed a successful career in financial services - killed the youngsters to hurt their father in the most extreme way possible.
She said Donnison, who was not married to the children's father but had changed her name by deed poll, was a narcissist with an overdeveloped sense of self-importance.
The couple, who had met in 1999 when both were married to other people, had an often strained relationship which was exacerbated by issues concerning her two teenage sons who lived with them and debt problems.
Donnison was also jealous and controlling of her partner, and often exhibited highly manipulative behaviour, the court heard.
On September 1, 2009, the day after returning from a family holiday to Ireland, Mr Donnison came home from work to find the defendant had moved out of their home in Heathfield, east Sussex, taking all four children with her.
He later found out she had moved into a house in Lightwater, Surrey, 100 yards from where his first wife lived with their two children, despite having no connections to the area.
Ms Laing said the couple later reconciled and made plans to move in together again but Donnison remained jealous of a woman he had struck up a platonic relationship with after she had left.
She said the two children, "described by everyone who knew them as delightful, well-mannered, affectionate children", were last seen alive on the afternoon of January 26 last year.
The next day the defendant went to Heathfield police station and told officers she had killed her children.
She would not tell them where they were, but police soon found them in the car.
Donnison denies two charges of murder. The trial continues.