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(Britain) Mother stabbed daughters in their sleep after shopping trip, court told

A mother stabbed her two teenage daughters to death in their beds in an attempt to destroy her former husband's life.

It will be interesting to see if Richard Chisholm's violence inquiry will cover maternal murders.

Men and fathers are not the only threats to children.

The report below is from Britain, but similar events have and do occur here in Australia, with mothers killing children to spite or stop fathers having contact with their children.

Last year a mother jumped off West Gate Bridge (in Melbourne) with 22 month old Oliver Garcia, killing them both.

This year several reports have surfaced of mothers killing children, some associated with family law matters.  Most quickly drop from sight, moreso if the perpetrator was a step-father or father.
A mother stabbed her two teenage daughters to death in their beds in an attempt to destroy her former husband's life, a court was told yesterday. … There had been contention between Ms Kumari-Baker, 41, and her former husband David Baker, 44, about the care and custody of the girls, John Farmer for the prosecution, said. … she resented the fact that her former husband was in a happy relationship and added: "She had not made a success of her life. What better way of ruining her ex-husband's life, bearing in mind he was very fond of his daughters, than killing the girls?"

Mother stabbed daughters in their sleep after shopping trip, court told

The Times Online (Britain)
8 September 2009

Mother stabbed daughters in their sleep after shopping trip, court told
By Lucy Bannerman

Davina Baker, 16, and Jasmine Baker, 13
Daughters: Davina, 16, and Jasmine Baker, 13

A mother stabbed her two teenage daughters to death in their beds in an attempt to destroy her former husband's life, a court was told yesterday.

Rekha Kumari-Baker, 41, carried out a frenzied attack on Davina Baker, 16, and Jasmine Baker, 13, after "softening them up" on a shopping trip, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

There had been contention between Ms Kumari-Baker, 41, and her former husband David Baker, 44, about the care and custody of the girls, John Farmer for the prosecution, said.

The sisters were attacked in their mother's home in Stretham, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, in the early hours of June 13, 2007. She stabbed Davina 39 times and launched a similar assault on Jasmine, the court was told.

Mr Farmer said that Ms Kumari-Baker had taken her daughters on a trip to the Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock, Essex, on June 11 in a 140-mile round-trip that was partly an attempt to ensure that they would go to sleep that night.

He said: "It had not been well between her and her daughters. What better way of forming a bond to ensure they were in her house for the night and available to be killed than to take them out and give them a sense of wellbeing?"

He said that she resented the fact that her former husband was in a happy relationship and added: "She had not made a success of her life. What better way of ruining her ex-husband's life, bearing in mind he was very fond of his daughters, than killing the girls?"

However, she did not attack her daughters that night after she was taken by surprise by a text message from Davina, Mr Farmer said.

The court heard that the teenager, who was in a bedroom at Ms Kumari-Baker's home, wrote: "Thank you for tonight, I really enjoyed myself. I love you with all my heart and always will."

Ms Kumari-Baker arranged another shopping expedition to Lakeside for the next day. Mr Farmer told jurors she woke at about 2.30am on June 13, went to the girls' bedrooms in her nightdress and murdered them.

The court was told that shortly before 6.30am she called a friend, Natalie Barford, and left a message saying: "I've done something terrible, Natalie. I've killed the kids. The children are dead."

She told Ms Barford, a special constable, that she had been "thinking about it" for days and "just woke up and decided to do it". She said she had "felt so alone" and added "at least the children are safe now and nobody else can hurt them". Jurors were told that Ms Kumari-Baker bought the murder weapons in Asda two days before the fatal attack.

The hotel worker, who denies murder, had been "devastated" by the breakdown of her marriage and the end of her relationship with her boyfriend Jeff Powell, the court heard.

A note, signed "Rekha", was found at her home after the bodies were discovered. It read: "Sorry doesn't mean anything now. I've killed my two daughters. I did not want them to get hurt like I did. Jeff hurt me so much I cannot explain. He found it difficult to compromise at times but I loved him so much."

Ms Kumari-Baker would later suggest that she had intended to kill herself, but there was no evidence that she had attempted suicide, the jury heard.

Lawyers for Ms Kumari-Baker will mount a "diminished responsibility" defence, arguing she was suffering from a "severe abnormality of mind" that made her guilty of manslaughter but not murder. Three of Davina's friends gave witness statements saying that she had been getting on well with her mother.

The trial continues.

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