1. ITV Report

Mother who drowned twins in bath as ‘revenge’ on husband jailed for 10 years

Jake and Chloe Ford were killed on Boxing Day 2018. Credit: Family/PA

A depressed mother who drowned her toddler twins in the bath out of "anger" at her estranged husband has been jailed for 10 years.

Samantha Ford, 38, killed her children Jake and Chloe on Boxing Day last year after she split from their father Steven Ford a few months before.

She then drove her Ford Galaxy at about 100mph into the back of a lorry without a seatbelt on in the early hours of December 27.

Her actions may have been driven by “revenge” on her estranged husband, a court has heard.

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 twins, who were conceived by IVF, dead in their bedroom at her rented home in Castle Drive, Margate, Kent.

Steve Ford, father of Chloe and Jake Ford, arrives at the Old Bailey Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

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.

The senior judge 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."

Jake Ford died alongside his twin sister. Credit: Family/PA

Ford denied murder but admitted two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at a hearing in May.

Her husband attended the Old Bailey as Mr Justice Edis heard more evidence about his wife’s mental state ahead of sentencing.

Psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph told the court Ford had feelings of “anger and betrayal” towards her estranged husband and “wanting revenge” when she killed their children.

He found her mental function was impaired due to “moderate” depressive illness.

Dr Joseph cast doubt on her later claim she heard insistent voices, but said she may have had thoughts in her head “telling her the only way forward is to kill the children”.

But Professor Gillian Mezey said Ford would never have harmed her children if it were not for her illness.

She disagreed that Ford had been driven by “anger or aggressive outbursts”.

In a victim impact statement read out at an earlier hearing, Mr Ford 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.”

“I know how she behaves when things don’t go her way and when she doesn’t get what she wants."

Chloe Ford was almost two years old when she was killed by her mother. Credit: Family/PA

Earlier, prosecutor Tom Kark QC had told how the couple had lived in Qatar for the first 10 years of their marriage but their relationship soured after they left their affluent lifestyle in the Middle East and moved to Charing in Kent in 2018.

Before their split, Ford had 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 following the separation, and she sent multiple text messages to her estranged husband trying to persuade him to return to her, the court heard.