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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

'Controlling mum killed her children and left them in holdalls in car boot to punish husband for alleged affair'

Sulaiman Kamal | 10:47 PM | | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Fiona Donnison appeared in court
today for the opening of her trial for the
alleged murder  of her two children

A jealous wife murdered her two young children to punish her estranged husband after he met another woman, a court heard today. 

Fiona Donnison, 45, suffocated Harry, three, and Elise, two, when she wrongly suspected her husband Paul had started an affair with an old schoolfriend.

She then armed herself with two kitchen knives in an attempt to kill Paul, 48, and blame him for the death of their children, it was alleged.

But Mr Donnison did not return to the family home that night. The next day she handed herself in to police saying she had killed her children.

A jury at Lewes Crown Court was told that the city banker was a controlling narcissist who wanted to make Mr Donnison’s life ‘as miserable as possible’ to the extent that she ‘used her children as the ultimate and final weapon’.

The couple had separated five months earlier when Donnison had abruptly left the £450,000 family home in Heathfield, east Sussex, taking the children with her.

She had just been made redundant from her high-flying job and was convinced that Mr Donnison was seeing someone else.

But despite Mr Donnison attempting a reconciliation, he finally said he could take no more of her ‘controlling’ behaviour and ended the relationship in January last year.

Christine Laing QC, prosecuting, said: ‘Many of the things she did to Paul Donnison were not as a result of any suppressed fear [of him] but arose out of anger and jealously as he had rejected her.

‘We say the killing of Harry and Elise was the final and most terrible of these acts.’

The two children’s bodies were found in the boot of Donnison’s Nissan car on the morning of 27 January last year, dressed in their pyjamas and zipped into separate sports bags.

They had most likely been suffocated with pillows, Miss Laing said, at Donnison’s rented house in Lightwater, Surrey, the evening before.

She had then driven the 90 miles to the former family home to wait for her estranged husband.

Miss Laing said: ‘She entered the property carrying two large kitchen knives which she had brought from the Lightwater house.

The court heard that Elise Donnison, two, and her brother Harry, three, were allegedly
 suffocated by their mother

‘We suggest that the purpose was, having informed Paul Donnison of the deaths of the children, the defendant intended to kill him and no doubt blame him for the killings of the children.’

But when Mr Donnison failed to return home that night, staying instead in Windsor where he worked in financial services, she handed herself in to police.

The couple met in 1999 when both worked for the same financial services company in the City, and were both married to other people.

They went on to have a daughter Mia in Autumn 2003, who sadly died of suspected cot death in April 2004.

But their often-strained relationship was exacerbated by issues concerning Donnison’s two teenage sons from her previous marriage who lived with them and the huge debts she had accumulated.

Miss Laing said: ‘Paul Donnison described her as always wanting bigger and better things than they could afford.

‘She was concerned with having the biggest and best of everything.’

She added that Donnison would taunt her husband that she was the bigger earner and refer to herself as the MBW – the main breadwinner.

But she continued to spend above her means and in September 2009 she had again accrued substantial debts of around £40,000.

Miss Laing told jurors Donnison will claim she lived in fear of her husband but: ‘Why any of this resulted in the defendant killing the children, she has not said.

‘She claims to have no memory at all of the events that led to the killing of Harry and Elise.

‘We say that responsibility lies not as a result of any mental illness but we say as a result of her personality.’

Donnison denies the two counts of murder.
The case continues.

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