Inquest hears pregnant Lowestoft mother who killed her children before jumping from a car park wrote ‘I love you’ on their bodies
PUBLISHED: 12:54 20 November 2014 | UPDATED: 16:50 20 November 2014
A heavily pregnant Suffolk woman killed her three children before writing “I love you” on their bodies, kissing them and tucking them up in bed, an inquest has heard.
Fiona Anderson, 23, died on April 15 last year after jumping from a car park in Lowestoft.
Police discovered the bodies of Levina, three, Addy, two, and 11-month-old Kyden, in their mother’s double bed at their home in the town’s London Road South, an inquest in Bury St Edmunds heard.
Officers found evidence they had been drowned in the bath. There was no evidence they had been restrained or assaulted, a post-mortem examination found.
When they visited her home, police found Miss Anderson had written on the walls using a green marker pen.
One of the messages read: “I put them to bed with their bear bears - they loved their bears.”
Another read: “I love them and I’m going to keep them safe.”
A final message said: “They’re cuddled up together sleeping. They look so peaceful.”
Each of the children had a heart drawn on their torso in green ink to create the message “I love you x”, Chief Inspector Andy Smith said.
Police also found evidence of a lipstick kiss mark on each of their foreheads.
Miss Anderson had written the names of each of the children on her body, with the name “Eve” which she intended to name her unborn daughter, the inquest heard.
Mr Smith said the day before the killings, she had argued with the children’s father, Craig McClellan, after he began a new relationship.
She stabbed him during this confrontation but he initially lied to police and said he had been stabbed in the street by a stranger.
Mr Smith said: “He later told us he lied to protect Fiona and stop the children being taken into care.
“It is clear that Fiona Anderson loved her children but that she was extremely emotionally disturbed on April 13, 14 and 15.”
He added a torn-up letter recovered after her death provided “a harrowing insight into her life”.
“She felt unable to cope with the situation and apologetically outlined her intention to take her children with her,” Mr Smith said.
“In her words: a mother never abandons her children.”
The family had been known to a variety of care agencies since she first became pregnant in 2009, coroner Peter Dean said.
Child protection plans were in place after concerns over possible physical and emotional neglect were raised.
Social services were considering taking the children into care.
A serious case review by independent expert Ron Lock for Suffolk Local Safeguarding Children Board was read to the hearing.
He said the family had been considered “hard to reach” since Miss Anderson’s “unwavering and determined” refusal to engage with children’s services since her first pregnancy.
Child protection plans were allowed to drift and, although legal intervention was considered, no action was taken through the courts.
Because of her refusal to co-operate, no mental health assessment could be carried out.
Mr Lock said: “If the children had been placed into care this could have avoided this tragic outcome.
“But there is never any guarantee that the application for a care order would be successful or that the children would remain in care.”
Because there was no previous evidence of the children being physically harmed or the parents self harming, the deaths were not foreseeable, he concluded.
There had also been no fresh action taken in 2013 which might have triggered concerns.
The inquest is expected to last two days.
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