A “loving” mother who drowned her twins after her husband left her was severely depressed, the Old Bailey was told as she was jailed for 10 years.
“Materialistic” Samantha Ford, 38, became obsessed with losing her “perfect life” in Qatar and killed 23-month-old twins Jake and Chloe in a bath on Boxing Day, the Old Bailey was told.
She will complete her sentence in jail after psychiatric treatment, the Old Bailey heard.
Ford attempted to kill herself after taking the lives of her children by driving into a lorry hours later in Margate, Kent.
Her heartbroken husband, Steven Ford, said her actions were the “ultimate punishment”, the Old Bailey heard.
The court was told that Ford had "gone off the rails" as a teenager, including taking an overdose, but was "very well adjusted" as an adult.
Defence expert witness Gillian Mezey, a Professor of Psychiatrist, told the court: "My understanding is that the impulse, the thought about killing her children was something that only occurred very shortly before the children’s death and that’s certainly what she said to me.
"She killed the children knowing that she was about to kill herself and having determined that was what she was about to do.
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“I concluded that she had developed a depressive illness, I felt that it was severe in nature."
She answered “no” when asked if she believed “anger” or “a wish to punish Steven Ford played a role in any way,” and added: “What I’m saying is that the illness has led her to acting entirely out of character.”
The defence’s expert witness referred to previous findings by consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph that Ford was only “moderately” depressed and that her condition was only a “contributory factor” to her crimes.
"There’s no previous history of aggression or violence, she was a good, caring, loving attentive mother by every account. Essentially there wasn’t evidence that she was an angry, depressive, vindictive person anywhere.
"In Mrs Ford’s case, what I’m really referring to is if you like, feelings of some emotional insecurity, insecure attachments to other people and perhaps she compensates for that in some way by being what we’ve heard is slightly controlling, although I might describe it as being rather organised and benefiting from having a structured approach to her life and needing people around her because those people give her a sense of security.
"She seems, in layman's terms, to have slightly gone off the rails in her teenage years.
"She had some unstable relationships, she took an overdose, it’s not uncommon.