Twins Jake and Chloe. Picture: Supplied
Twins Jake and Chloe. Picture: Supplied

‘Narcissistic’ mum drowned twins

WARNING: Graphic content

A psychiatrist has told a court a "materialistic" and "narcissistic" mother who drowned her own children was upset about losing her perfect life in Qatar.

Samantha Ford, 38, killed her twin toddlers Jake and Chloe in their home in Kent, England.

Ford claimed she suffered a breakdown due to severe depression which led her to kill her children.

Police made the tragic discovery after Ford deliberately crashed her car into the back of a truck at 160kph in the early hours of December 27. 2018.

London's criminal court The Old Bailey heard Ford was "hysterical" when officers found her.

The court heard she asked them to "Just let me die. I've killed my babies. I have had a breakdown."

When officers rushed to the home they found Jake and Chloe in their beds and attempted to revive them, prosecutor Tom Kark QC said.

Samantha Ford pleaded guilty to manslaughter after her two young children were killed in December 2018. Picture: Supplied
Samantha Ford pleaded guilty to manslaughter after her two young children were killed in December 2018. Picture: Supplied


Ford allegedly left a note on a table at the home which read: "Please forgive my crazy mind."

"They were aged 23 months, and she killed them, it would appear, by drowning them in the bath at the family home," Mr Kark said.

Ford was charged with murder in May, to which she pleaded not guilty. She instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

 

The court heard Ford met her husband Steven Ford in 2004 and was "much more controlling" and "occasionally aggressive" to him in the early stages of their relationship.

The couple moved to Qatar in 2008 where she later gave birth to the twins following IVF treatment.

Mr Kark said the couple had "a very good and affluent lifestyle which Samantha very much enjoyed".

However the pair returned to the UK in 2018 and their relationship broke down. They split in November 2018.

Days before Christmas Ford was diagnosed with "severe depressive disorder" and suffering an "acute stress reaction".

The court heard Ford blamed her estranged husband for "dragging the family back from Qatar".

While prosecutors accepted guilty pleas to manslaughter, instead of murder, in light of medical reports, the assessing psychiatrist branded her "narcissistic" and declared Ford was not suffering from severe depression when she killed the twins.

Dr Muzaffar Hussain told the court: "I think she was moderately depressed at the time and angry with Steven in the context of the exchanges they were having at the time."

"However, at the same time she was very wounded narcissistically by Mr Ford's departure from the family home and how her perfect life, which she felt was perfect in every way, was taken away from her.

Samantha Ford with twins Jake and Chloe. A psychiatrist told a London court Ford showed evidence of narcissistic behaviour at the time of their deaths. Picture: Supplied
Samantha Ford with twins Jake and Chloe. A psychiatrist told a London court Ford showed evidence of narcissistic behaviour at the time of their deaths. Picture: Supplied


Dr Hussain held the view that based on her social media and text messages there was evidence of narcissistic tendencies at the time.

The psychiatrist also said Ford had reminisced about her lavish life in Qatar which led him to believe that she was mourning that loss, not her children.

"What we find is what she's 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," he said.

"It's the loss of that that she grieves. In my view that's a balanced view of where she is in the grieving process.

"I don't think she's grieving for the children yet, I think she's grieving for the loss of her life.

"She's grieving for the children in that they were perfect children in a perfect life."

Ford is set to be sentenced.

Mr Ford provided a victim impact statement which was read to the judge.

"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. 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.

 

 

Jake and Chloe’s father says his estranged wife’s actions were the ‘ultimate punishment’. Picture: Supplied
Jake and Chloe’s father says his estranged wife’s actions were the ‘ultimate punishment’. Picture: Supplied


"Over the last few months I have been troubled with suicidal thoughts, 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."

The court heard Mr Ford felt intense guilt for the twin's deaths.

He said Ford's actions were the 'ultimate punishment' and an 'extreme version' of her character.

"I have no doubt in my mind she has done this with the intention of ending her life and hurting me in the process. I know her character and how she behaves when things don't go in her way.

"I understand she was in a depressive state and also struggling emotionally. But I think she still knew what was right from wrong. How I wish I had never taken them back to her. I only did this because I thought every mum deserves to be with their kids."

Brenda Campbell QC, defending Ford, said her client had been suffering from depression as a result of the breakdown of her marriage but was a 'devoted mother' to the twins.

"The children were very much wanted babies and when they came along Mrs Ford sought nothing but to nurture and protect them every single day. She was preoccupied that her children had the best possible childhood. She suffered a catastrophic level of depression leading her to believe that she and the children needed to die."

Ford is set to be sentenced on August 16 at The Old Bailey.

 

Additional reporting from The Sun.

 

If you or a loved one are having thoughts of suicide, contact Lifeline 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 or BeyondBlue 1300 22 4636.