A woman who murdered her 23-month old twins after drowning them in the bath out of anger at her estranged husband has been jailed for 10 years.
Samantha Ford killed her children Jake and Chloe on Boxing Day last year, a few months after her split from their father, Steven Ford. She then drove her Ford Galaxy at about 100mph into the back of a lorry while not wearing a seatbelt, in the early hours of 27 December.
When police managed to open the doors of her vehicle, she told them: “I’ve killed my babies. Please let me die. I put them in the bath. We were meant to be together. I was going to jump off a cliff but it’s too dark.”
Police found the 23-month-old children dead in their bedroom at her home in Margate, Kent. Ford denied murder but admitted two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at a hearing in May.
Mr Justice Edis sentenced Ford to 10 years, to be served in a psychiatric unit until she is well enough to be transferred to prison.
He told the defendant: “The horror of what happened does not need any explanation by me. Anyone with any imagination can envisage for themselves what must have happened in that bathroom. It is unlikely that they died simultaneously and it must have taken some time and required some determination.
“Your anger with your husband was a significant contributory factor. In deciding to kill your children and yourself, I am sure that you had thoughts of the effect this would have on Steven Ford, with whom all the psychiatrists say you were preoccupied. You knew it would devastate him and I’m sure that is a reason why you did it.”
Earlier, the prosecutor Tom Kark QC said the couple had lived in Qatar for the first 10 years of their marriage, and their relationship deteriorated after they left their affluent lifestyle and moved to Charing in Kent in 2018.
Before their split, Ford told her husband: “You have ripped my world apart, now we are nothing but a miserable, broken family growing up in a shithole.”
Relatives said Ford’s mental health declined rapidly after the separation and she sent multiple text messages to her estranged husband trying to persuade him to return to her, the court heard.
In subsequent messages between them, the court heard Samantha complained about returning to the UK.
She said their “children are going to grow up in a miserable cold country” and that they were “destined to be a miserable family living in a s**thole”.
Ford, who was said to have been “controlling and aggressive” towards her husband in the past, pleaded with him, saying: “I’m not a monster.”
She and the children moved to Margate while Steven Ford remained in Charing.
Her life had spiralled into despair after splitting from husband Steve and returning to the UK from Qatar.
A court heard she was a materialistic person who “resented losing her good lifestyle”.
After Ford killed the “miracle” IVF twins she then drove into the back of a lorry without wearing a seatbelt.
“Hysterical” Ford told cops: “Just let me die. I’ve killed my babies. I have had a breakdown.
“I would never hurt them…they are my miracle babies. It’s all a dream.”
In a victim impact statement read out at an earlier hearing, Steven Ford said he thought their children would have been “terrified, confused and that they suffered” in death.
He said: “This was the most heinous, spiteful act on two innocent children. I have no doubt [Ford] did this with the intention of taking her own life and punishing me in the process.”
A court today heard Ford killed her twins just 30 minutes after reassuring her parents they were safe with her.
Judge Andrew Edis QC said: “You knew it would devastate him and I’m sure that’s one reason why you did it.
“You had killed the children within half an hour of their return to you by their grandparents.
“You killed them, dressed them, dried them and placed them back in their beds, their bodies facing away from each other towards the wall.
Controlling Ford admitted two counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility and was this afternoon locked up for 10 years.
She will serve the sentence in a psychiatric unit until she is well enough to be transferred to prison.