UK & World News
Wandsworth Mother Admits Killing Children
A mother suffering from post-natal depression has admitted killing her two young children at the family home.
Felicia Boots wept at the Old Bailey as she pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mason, nine weeks, and Lily, 14 months, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Boots told the court she killed the children at their house in Wandsworth, south-west London, in May and said she was "eternally sorry".
The 35-year-old, who wore a black suit and white blouse, sent a note to the court, which was read by her counsel Kate Bex.
It said: "May 9, 2012 is a day I will be eternally sorry for. It should never have happened. It troubles me more than anyone will ever know.
"Part of me will always be missing. I am a good person. I am a good mum and I never meant any of this to happen. I am truly sorry."
The children's bodies were found by their father Jeff, an investment banker. Details of their injuries were not given in court, apart from to say they had been asphyxiated.
The Old Bailey heard Boots had suffered post-natal depression after the births of both children but had appeared to be getting better.
She was prescribed antidepressants but had not been taking them after becoming convinced the babies would be taken away from her because of the effects of the drugs on her breast milk.
The couple, who married in 2007 and came to the UK from Canada, had just moved house and were still unpacking when the children died.
"They were a happy family and they were comfortably well-off," Edward Brown QC, prosecuting, said.
On May 9, Mr Boots had gone to work as normal and was sent a picture of Lily by his wife but when he arrived home the house was in darkness.
He found his wife on the stairs, hugging herself and curled up, the court heard.
Mr Brown said: "Mr Boots ran past her and found their two children lying lifeless on the floor of a walk-in cupboard off the main bedroom.
"He very soon returned, very distressed, to his wife. On questioning, she told him she had killed the children at 2pm. She also said she had tried to kill herself."
The court heard that Mr Boots was supporting his wife.
He said: "This plainly is a tragic case. There were signs Mrs Boots had made an attempt on her own life. She had marks to her neck."
Boots was ordered to be detained at a psychiatric unit and the court was told she would be given full support and care if she became pregnant again.