Samantha Ford [left], drowned IVF twins, 23-month-old toddlers Jake and Chloe [right] on Dec 26, ‘to get back at her estranged husband’
British mom Samantha Ford who tried failed in a suicide bid when she crashed her car into a lorry at 100mph, after she murdered her 23-month-old toddlers has a decade behind bars to mull her crime
The 38-year-old mother from Kent in the UK who drowned her “miracle” IVF twins on December 26 after her husband left her was sentenced today to serve 10 years in prison at London’s Old Bailey court.
Samantha killed her 23-month-old twins Jake and Chloe in the bath and then tried to die by suicide when she crashed her car into the back of a lorry at 100mph, later telling police: “I’ve killed my babies. Please let me die.”
During her trial her defense attorney claimed she was suffering from “a catastrophic level” of acute depression “leading her to believe that she and the children needed to die”.
But prosecution psychiatrists believe she may have been exaggerating her illness, countering that she killed her twins in a fit of “narcissistic rage”, had a “homicide/suicide fantasy” and carried it out in an act of “retaliation and punishment” against her estranged husband Steven.
Ford pled guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility but denied murdering the twins at her home near Margate, Kent.
The twins’ father Steven Ford, 36, attended the hearing. After the killings, he tweeted: “Daddy’s twins xxx my beautiful babies. I love you.”
In a later tweet he said: “I want the world to see my beautiful babies. Jake and Chloe forever xxx.”
Sentencing Ford, Judge Andrew Edis said: “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. You wrote the note and quickly left.
“The loss of these two young lives is a tragedy which will haunt their father and other members of two families for the rest of their lives. I accept it will also haunt you because you loved the children.
“You decided not to kill yourself and not to jump off the cliff, although that had been your plan. On your journey back from the cliff in your car you decided to drive in to the rear of a truck in a suicide attempt.
“This was very controlled behaviour and not impulsive or frenzied. You had been considering doing this for some time as your Google searches demonstrated.
“I accept you are a serious risk of suicide still.”
She was experiencing a “murder-suicide fantasy” which was “in play as a way of retaliation and of punishment of Mr Ford for leaving her – a sense of ‘this is what you made me do'”, a prosecution psychiatrist told the court.
The prosecution also debunked her claims at trial that she had heard voices telling her to kill her children, a claim that she hadn’t made previously.
– After Steven left her
Prosecutors also revealed in court today that while the defendant was being held in a mental health hospital she was “fixated” on her ex and wanted to know he was “suffering”.
Defence expert witness Gillian Mezey, a Professor of Psychiatrist, told the court: “My understanding is that the impulse, the thought about killing her children was something that only occurred very shortly before the children’s death and that’s certainly what she said to me.
“She killed the children knowing that she was about to kill herself and having determined that was what she was about to do.
“I concluded that she had developed a depressive illness, I felt that it was severe in nature.”
The Fords had spent their first 10 years of marriage living in Qatar, but when they moved back to the UK, Samantha who has been described as “emotionally controlling” and “materialistic”, was angry at leaving their lavish lifestyle behind and wanted to return to the Middle East, the court heard.
Their marriage deteriorated and they split in November 2018. Samantha moving into a rented house near Margate with the couple’s twins.
In the weeks leading up to the deaths, Ford’s health allegedly had rapidly “deteriorated” and she had Googled methods of suicide and murder.
At trial it was revealed that Samantha had sent a message on Christmas Day, telling someone: “I just need to end. I just need something to strike him to make him know what he’s doing.”
Prosecutor Tom Kark told a July hearing that Samantha had sent multiple text messages to steven Ford, including one which read: “You have ripped my world apart”.
He added: “She was very upset that the relationship had broken down and didn’t like the idea of becoming a single mother.”
after being drowned by their mom in a retaliatory move against their dad
After drowning the twins, Ford got into her Ford Galaxy and crashed into the back of a lorry at 100mph without a seatbelt on.
She survived the smash on the London-bound carriageway of the A299 Thanet Way, near Whitstable, just before 3am on December 27.
When rescuers arrived at the scene, she told police: “I’ve killed my babies. Please let me die.
“I put them in the bath. We were meant to be together.”
She added: I would never hurt them, they are my miracle babies.”
She also said: “This is all a dream. I should have gone to the hospital sooner. He’s messing with my head.”
Police found the toddlers just after 3.30am. Pathologists believe they were killed day before.
Ford avoided a murder trial after the prosecution accepted her plea to the lesser charge at a previous hearing in June following a psychiatric report.
The Old Bailey heard the Fords married in 2008 and moved to Qatar where they enjoyed an “affluent” and “lavish” lifestyle.
Samantha became pregnant with twins after IVF treatment, giving birth to Jake and Chloe in 2017.
In early 2018 the family moved back to the UK to a house in Charing, near Ashford, the court heard.
But Ford was not happy to be back and wanted to return to the Middle East, a judge was told.
One message she sent to Mr Ford said: “Why do you choose a job in London over living in an amazing country with our children. Now our children are going to live a miserable life. Now we are destined to live a miserable life in a sh*thole.”
The sentencing hearing began in July and continued on Friday with further psychiatric evidence at the Old Bailey.
At the hearing in July, prosecutor Ed Brown QC read a victim impact statement from Steven Ford, who said: “I believe what happened here is an extreme version of her character. Like a tantrum. She knew it was the ultimate punishment.
“The total shock and pain is indescribable.
“In that moment my life had changed in a heartbeat.
“My two beautiful babies were healthy, bright and loving children who had everything to life for.
“Being twins they were a real double act. They were quite individual in their personalities, but were also aware of each other’s presence.
“I have no doubt they would have been wonderful people.
“Jake and Chloe were wanted babies. Samantha and I went through four attempts of IVF and years of heartache.”
He added: “I have night terror these have become more frequent in recent weeks and happened in the middle of the night.
“I wake myself up screaming or throwing items within my reach in my bedroom.
“I find these incidents particularly disturbing. Sometimes in the morning when I get out of bed I get out on autopilot and go to the twins room to get them up.
“Over the last few months I have been troubled with suicidal thoughts, thinking about hanging myself; although I think about the impact it would have on my parents and my family. Sometimes I feel like I can’t live like this.
“I find myself speculating what their last minutes were like. I suspect they were terrified, confused and suffering.
“I feel like I should have been able to protect them even though I know I couldn’t have.”
Mr Ford told the court he felt guilty for the twins’ deaths and had no idea that anything was wrong when he dropped them off at his estranged wife’s home on Boxing Day.