Spain mother 'protecting children'
A woman accused of murdering her two children in a Spanish hotel has claimed she did it to "protect" them.
Lianne Smith, 44, is being held in jail abroad after allegedly killing her daughter Rebecca, aged five, and son Daniel, 11 months, in the Spanish resort of Lloret de Mar in May.
On Wednesday, her partner Martin Smith, 45, the father of both children, was convicted by a jury of a string of child sex offences against a young girl. He used hypnotism, violence and bullying to get the girl to comply with his demands while abusing her for almost a decade.
Smith, 45, was extradited from Spain in May, three years after the couple fled the UK.
Both claimed they fled abroad because social services were "on a mission" to take their two children away following the child sex allegations.
"I couldn't let the children be taken away from me knowing what their life would be like,' Lianne Smith told the Daily Mail. "Children in care have no chance. If they are not abused, they end up on drugs or in prison. You can't argue with the statistics. Everyone knows they have an awful existence. As a mother who loves her children, I couldn't let them suffer like that. I had to protect them."
Lianne Smith said that after her partner was extradited back to the UK, she felt the "net closing in" on her, with social workers plotting to grab her children. "Time was running out," she said.
After allegedly murdering her two children, Smith said she attempted suicide but could not physically go through with it. After spending the night next to their bodies, she went to the hotel's reception and asked them to call the police and an ambulance.
Smith also told the newspaper that, while in her cell, she had a vision of a green and a pink "orb" apparently representing her two children and she felt "happy and reassured".
Lianne Smith will face two counts of murder at her trial after a judge ruled out sending her to a psychiatric unit.