A U.K. woman, who was sentenced to psychiatric treatment and therapy after killing her three severely disabled children, was photographed arriving at her home for the first time after being released from treatment.
Tania Clarence, 43, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility after smothering her four-year-old daughter, Olivia, and three-year-old twin sons, Ben and Max, all three of whom suffered from a condition known as spinal muscular atrophy. Clarence reportedly was depressed around the time of the murders last April, and requested that her maid give her time alone with her children. It was then that she asphyxiated them in their beds. Following the killings, Clarence attempted suicide.
In court, psychiatrists revealed the extent of Clarence’s mental illness “in great detail,” and brought forth compelling evidence that led to the decision that she had been in the middle of a mental breakdown when she killed her children. A judge even maintained that she was a “dedicated and caring” mother who became overwhelmed by the stress of caring for her kids.
“Gary, I need to tell you how difficult it is for me to take Liv’s life...The boys were bad enough. I am struggling with Liv,” Clarence wrote in a letter to her husband, Gary Clarence, after smothering her twin sons. “I waited until the boys were asleep, the same with Liv. If I could take my own life and leave her to wait for you, I would.”
“Tania’s depression was certainly not assisted by the constant pressure placed on the family by some individuals within the medical profession and social services,” her husband said at the time of the sentencing, calling the killings “a tragedy from which lessons need to be learnt.”
The photos released of Clarence at her home are the first since her sentencing four months ago, and reportedly begin a series of weekend home visits that will continue until she is deemed fully capable of leaving the hospital and returning home full-time. Seen alongside Clarence in the photos is a young girl, thought to be her only surviving child and the only one who was not born disabled.