News, Culture & Society

Mother who drowned twins in bath could face more time behind bars

A mother who killed her twins could be set for more time behind bars, it has been revealed today, after her estranged husband hit out at her ‘disgusting’ 10-year sentence. 

Samantha Ford, 38, drowned her 23-month-old children Jake and Chloe in Margate, Kent, on Boxing Day last year after her split from their father Steven Ford.

She was jailed for ten years at the Old Bailey on August 16 but will go to a psychiatric until she is fit for prison.

After the hearing, Mr Ford took to Twitter to slam the sentence and appealed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene. 

The Attorney General has today confirmed Ford’s sentence will be reviewed, probing whether it breached sentencing guidelines and should be the subject of an appeal. 

Scroll for video 

Samantha Ford, 38, who drowned 23-month-old twins Jake and Chloe (left) in the bath on Boxing Day last year, wanted to know if her husband was ‘suffering’ after she killed them. She was sentenced to ten years in prison at the Old Bailey

'Devastated' Mr Ford was unhappy with the sentencing and tweeted at Prime Minister Boris Johnson to call for 'tougher sentencing'

‘Devastated’ Mr Ford was unhappy with the sentencing and tweeted at Prime Minister Boris Johnson to call for ‘tougher sentencing’

Mr Ford wrote on Twitter after the hearing: ‘Time for Boris Johnson to step up and get a handle on tougher sentencing!

‘Ten years for killing my son and daughter and probably only serve five! Justice was not served. I am devastated, disgusted and appalled!

‘Please retweet. I want Boris Johnson to see this!’

Before killing Jake and Chloe, Ford told her spouse his decision to move from Qatar to a home in Margate meant the family were now ‘destined to live a miserable life in a s**thole’ and used Google to research how to kill someone by drowning.

She was initially charged with murder but a plea to manslaughter by diminished responsibility was accepted in May after the court heard her mental health declined rapidly following the break-up.

She showed little emotion as she was sentenced before a packed public gallery at the Old Bailey by Judge Andrew Edis QC.

Her husband Steven Ford outside court ahead of his wife's sentencing

The couple's two-year-old twins Chloe (left) and Jake

Her husband Steven Ford outside court (left) ahead of his wife’s sentencing and the twins in an undated family photo (right)

He said she would be transferred to a mental health ward and would serve the rest of her ten-year sentence in jail once she is discharged.

Telling her she was motivated by hurting her estranged husband he said: ‘You knew it would devastate him and I’m sure that’s one reason why you did it.

‘Jake and Chloe were aged 23-months and may have had some awareness. It is unlikely they died simultaneously and it must have taken some time and determination.

‘You were conducting Google searches including death by drowning while the children were with other members of the family. 

‘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.

Doting father: Steven Ford (with little Jake and Chloe) said he 'lost the will to live' after his wife drowned their two-year-old twins

Doting father: Steven Ford (with little Jake and Chloe) said he ‘lost the will to live’ after his wife drowned their two-year-old twins

The toddlers were found seriously injured after their mother was involved in a car crash

The toddlers were found seriously injured after their mother was involved in a car crash

The toddlers were found seriously injured after their mother was involved in a car crash

‘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.’ 

Telling her she was motivated by hurting her estranged husband (pictured together), Judge Andrew Edis said: 'You knew it would devastate him and I'm sure that's one reason why you did it'

Telling her she was motivated by hurting her estranged husband (pictured together), Judge Andrew Edis said: ‘You knew it would devastate him and I’m sure that’s one reason why you did it’

He said Chloe was his 'perfect baby girl' and a 'little genius'

He said Jake was 'everything he ever wanted in a son'

Mr Ford has said Chloe was his ‘perfect baby girl’ and a ‘little genius’. He said Jake was ‘everything he ever wanted in a son’

Ford had a breakdown after the family left behind their affluent lifestyle in the Middle East last year, where they had lived for ten years while Mr Ford worked as a top-level golfer.

The couple, who met in 2004, moved to Qatar in 2008 and spent most of their ten-year marriage living there where she gave birth to the twins following IVF treatment. 

They split shortly after returning to England with Ford telling her husband their children would grow up in a ‘miserable cold country’ and that they were ‘destined to be a miserable family living in a s**thole’.

Her family had already raised concerns about her mental wellbeing and suggested that Mr Ford should look after the children over Christmas.

But the father then decided otherwise, deciding that ‘no mother should be without their children at Christmas,’ the Old Bailey heard.

However, on Boxing Day she drowned the children at her rented home near Margate, Kent, then attempted to take her own life hours later by driving her Ford Galaxy into the rear of a lorry at 100mph. 

In the early hours of December 27 police attended the scene of a crash on the London-bound carriageway of the A299. When they managed to open the doors of Ford’s car, 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.’

While she was taken to hospital, police attended the address she was renting in Margate, where they found the two toddlers in their bedroom in nappies and clean, dry baby grows, but they were already dead.  

Police guarding Ford's home, in Margate, Kent, after they found the toddlers dead on December 27

Police guarding Ford’s home, in Margate, Kent, after they found the toddlers dead on December 27

Before she was sentenced her consultant psychiatrist Philip Joseph told the Old Bailey that Ford’s poor mental health was a ‘significant contributory factor’ in the killings.

He said: ‘She was quite fixated about Steven Ford while in hospital, wanting to know he was suffering as well’.

Arguing her culpability for her crimes was ‘medium’, he said: ‘My opinion was that the abnormality of mental functioning was a significant contributory factor – it wasn’t the cause of the killings but it was a contributory factor.

‘Taking everything into account I’ve come to the conclusion that the illness was moderate severity. The abnormality of mental functioning is a depressive illness of at least moderate severity. 

‘I think more important and influencing my opinion is his (Steven Ford) impact statement itself. I think that has to be taken into account, his perception of why she did this is important. Unless the courts decide he was being vindictive in that statement – an impression I did not get.’ 

Mr Ford, (pictured right) her husband of five years, paid tribute to the twins on social media after their death (pictured just after their births is 2017

Mr Ford, (pictured right) her husband of five years, paid tribute to the twins on social media after their death (pictured just after their births is 2017

The twins were found dead in their beds in the early hours of December 27 after Mrs Ford was involved in a crash on the A299

The twins were found dead in their beds in the early hours of December 27 after Mrs Ford was involved in a crash on the A299

Mr Ford is pictured with both his twins in an image posted to his Facebook account

Mr Ford is pictured with both his twins in an image posted to his Facebook account

Prosecutor Tom Kark QC said Ford ‘blamed her estranged husband for dragging the family back from Qatar’. In a victim impact statement, Mr Ford said he thought his children would have been ‘terrified, confused and that they suffered’ in death.

He said: ‘This was the most heinous, spiteful act on two innocent children. I have no doubt she did this with the intention of taking her own life and punishing me in the process.

‘It’s an extreme version of her character because she couldn’t get her own way – knowing how much I loved the children she knew it would be the ultimate punishment for me not going back to her.’ 

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Muzaffar Hussain said: ‘What [Ford] is most regretful about is losing that perfect life, a perfect life with Steve in Qatar. A perfect life with her miracle children. The perfect house. It’s the loss of that that she grieves.’

Devastated neighbours left soft toy tributes outside the family home in Margate, Kent

Devastated neighbours left soft toy tributes outside the family home in Margate, Kent

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.