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Woman who smothered her two toddlers in jealous rage may have killed her baby girl years earlier

A mother found guilty of murdering her two young children to get back at their father may have killed another child years earlier, it emerged yesterday.Fiona Donnison, 45, was found guilty of suffocating Harry, three, and Elise, two, after a bitter split from their father Paul.She used them as the ‘ultimate weapon’ to take revenge on her former partner for ‘rejecting’ her and starting a new relationship with an old school friend.Murderer: Fiona Donnison who has been found guilty of murdering her two young childrenHorrific: Elise, three, and Harry, two, were smothered with their bedclothes and stuffed into holdallsBut yesterday as she was jailed for life for the murders, it emerged that police also believe she may have killed the couple’s first child, Mia, who died aged nine months.When detectives found the bodies of Harry and Elise in the boot of her car, they re-examined the circumstances of Mia’s death in 2004.
At the time, a post-mortem examination determined that she had died from cot death, but Donnison was charged with her murder last year. More...If he's sleeping with you he will never see the kids: 'Killer mother's threat to partner's lover'[/*]'We love you, Fiona': Relatives of smothered toddlers' mother call out as she is charged with their murder[/*]Wife watched me put children to bed 'with look of absolute hatred and evil on her face', father tells murder trial[/*][/list]It was alleged the former City insurance manager smothered the baby because she was furious with her partner for attending his ex-wife’s birthday party.In a distressing 999 call, she was heard screaming down the phone, before calmly saying: ‘She’s not moving at all. Her eyes are completely shut. Oh no. What have I done?’Horror: Police remove evidence from the former family home in Heathfield, Sussex in Januray last yearA judge dismissed the charge because of a lack of evidence, and the jury trying Harry and Elise’s murders were never told she had been charged.
Whatever the truth of Mia’s death, it had the effect of keeping the couple together. Mr Donnison was sharing a house with his ex-wife Linda and two older children, but after Mia’s death he moved in with Donnison in 2005 because he wanted to help her with such an ‘extraordinary loss’.
Yesterday, as she was jailed for two life sentences, with a minimum of 32 years, Judge Mr Justice Nicol described the murders as ‘deliberate and wicked acts’.
Fiona Donnison is led from court yesterday after being jailed for lifeHe said: ‘The premature end of such young lives would have been a tragedy, but this was no accident. You killed them – you, who were their mother.’
Donnison’s defence was always that she was mad, not bad. She went to great lengths to try to convince the police, her family, and the courts that she had lost her mind and had no memory of what she had done.But at the heart of this case was a cold-blooded killer who, once she had lost control over the man she loved, was hell-bent on the ultimate revenge.
In an emotional address on the steps of the court, Mr Donnison, 48, called for the death penalty while criticising the criminal justice system, saying he had fewer rights than his children’s killer.
‘Taking a life is the most obscene act that anyone can commit, which in my view should receive an equal punishment,’ he said. ‘The pain and agony my family and I have suffered over the last year and a half over the murder of my beautiful children, Harry and Elise, has been almost unbearable.
‘The lives of these two beautiful, innocent and wonderful babies were taken from them in a most horrible and disgusting way. They did not stand a chance. The saddest thing today is that they will not grow older and enjoy their lives.’
Mr Donnison, who was questioned at length by defence counsel over his relationship with old schoolfriend Alison Shimmens, said he often felt that he was the one on trial, while Donnison was treated with ‘kid gloves’.
He said: ‘The horror of having to live with the murder of Harry and Elise was compounded by the clear ability of their murderer, despite admitting to the killings and being detained, to have more rights and considerations than I have.’
Trial: Donnison, a former city worker, spent most of the trial at Lewes Crown Court with her head bowedSentence: Donnison was jailed for a minimum of 32 years after a unanimous jury found her guilty on two counts of murderPaul Donnison was working as an insurance underwriter at a Lloyds syndicate in London when he met Fiona. Both were married at the time with two children each, but what started as a platonic friendship moved to something more.
Fiona Donnison, who left school at 18 and worked in Spain as a nanny for five years before landing her high-powered job as a credit manager, became pregnant in the first months of their relationship and gave birth to Mia in 2003.The baby’s death less than a year later brought the couple closer together but by all accounts she pulled the strings in their relationship.
The couple never married, but Donnison changed her name by deed poll. By January last year, Mr Donnison had had enough of her jealousy and manipulative behaviour and broke off the relationship.Lewes Crown Court was told that Donnison then used Harry and Elise as the ‘ultimate and final weapon’ to get back at him for starting a new relationship with Miss Shimmens.
After she smothered the toddlers at her rented house in Lightwater, Surrey, on January 26 last year, she put their bodies in two sports holdalls in the boot of their car. She then drove 90 miles to Heathfield, East Sussex, armed with two kitchen knives and stopped to buy sleeping pills on the way. She expected Mr Donnison to be at the marital home, but he was spending the night with Miss Shimmens.
Several hours later she walked into a police station saying she had murdered her children.
Mr Donnison’s brother, Mark, 46, said the family believed it was her original plan to either kill Paul and blame the children’s death on him, or frame him for the murders.
He added: ‘Paul will never get over this. He is absolutely devastated. Those children were his life and now he will never see them grow up. Everything has been taken away from him.’ BRIGHTEST' LIGHTS IN FATHER'S LIFEDevastated: The children's father Paul Donnison, remained sombre as the judge passed sentenceWith their cute smiles and loving nature, little Harry and Elise Donnison were every inch the 'brightest' lights that their father described.Paul Donnison said after the tragedy that he could not comprehend how their mother could have killed them, and told of how he had been looking forward to seeing them grow up.In a statement issued after their deaths, he said: 'Harry and Elise were the lights that shone the brightest in my life and I am unable to begin to comprehend why this has happened to them.'I love them with all my heart and they in turn gave me the unconditional love that only a child can give a parent.'Every day that I saw them was precious and wonderful but I had no idea just how precious.
'They were only babies and I was looking forward to watching them grow up and, with their mum, help them to live their lives.'During their mother Fiona Donnison's trial, prosecutors said the pair were 'described by everyone who knew them as delightful, well-mannered, affectionate children'.During his own evidence, Mr Donnison told jurors he 'couldn't have been happier' when Harry and Elise were born in 2006 and 2008 respectively.He said Harry was a typical naughty toddler, describing him as a 'pickle'.When he was too much of a handful he would be made to sit on the 'naughty step' at the bottom of the stairs where he could be seen from most of the downstairs rooms of the house.But he denied accusations made against him by the defendant that he had once grabbed Harry after he refused to eat his dinner and held his face by his chin in order to make him say the word sorry, and said he was never banished to his bedroom for long periods of time as their mother claimed.Describing how he last saw the children in Meadowside, the family home, Mr Donnison's voice broke as he told jurors: 'Harry was in his pyjamas and he came over and wrapped his little arms around me and we hugged and I gave him the toy and I was kneeling down.'He had his arms around my shoulders and my neck and I was cuddling him.'And Fiona was standing two or three feet away with a look of absolute hatred and evil on her face. Harry was then shooed back into his bedroom.'That was the last time I saw him alive.'I then went to Elise's bedroom and she was peacefully asleep. I gave her a peck on the cheek, she just wiggled her nose.
'She didn't wake. And that was the last time I saw Elise.'Jenny Woodhouse, the director of Huffle Nursery in Heathfield, also became emotional as she spoke of the children.Harry and Elise had attended the nursery school since they were both very young.She said: 'They were lovely children. They were very well-behaved children.'We had a huge input with him. We saw a lot of Harry in particular and in the end Elise as well so the staff were very involved with their early years.'Harry was a very, very quiet baby, but when he got a little older he was a much more open child.'

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Added: Aug-10-2011 Occurred On: Aug-10-2011
By: Zipper10
Regional News
Tags: Murder, toddlers, mother, jealous, rage
Location: United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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