Smith is accused of murdering her children after her TV psychic
husband was arrested on child sex abuse charges before hanging
By Steve Myall - Mirror.co.uk
June 18, 2012
A chilling video in which a mum
tells how she suffocated her two children with a plastic bag was
today shown to a jury.
Lianne Smith, 45, said
after killing 11-month-old Daniel and Rebecca, five, in a Spanish
hotel room, she spent the night cuddling their bodies.
She told the court: “I ended the lives of my two children. Then I
lay in the bed beside them, I gave them a cuddle.
"I talked to them until about 9pm, then I went into the bathroom.”
The video was filmed by police in the room next to where her
children lay just hours after the killings.
Smith said of Daniel’s death: “I put a bag on his head. All of the
head was in.”
She added that she knew when he
was dead “because I was holding him”.
detectives she then killed Rebecca with the same bag, adding her
daughter moved as she clasped the bag around her throat, but did
not grab her or kick out.
Smith then spent the
night in the hotel room with her dead children writing a series of
One to Rebecca and Daniel said: “I love
you very much. I wanted to give you a lovely life together. I’m
Smith wept in court in Girona,
Spain, as she explained she killed the children because she feared
they would be taken away after her partner Martin Smith was
arrested on child sex charges.
She told police
she tried to cut her own wrists and throat, tried to drown
herself, suffocate herself and hang herself but failed in her
At 1.30pm the next day, she went
to the hotel reception and asked a member of staff to call police
and ambulance, despite knowing the children were already dead.
She told detectives her older daughter from a previous
relationship had accused Smith, who she never married but shares
the same name, of sexual abuse.
She said: “They
wanted to take my daughter into care so we left England and moved
to Barcelona to live a normal life.”
was told she moved to Barcelona with Rebecca and Smith, from North
Shields, wanted in the UK on child sex charges, before Daniel’s
But Martin Smith was arrested on a
European warrant by Spanish police at their flat in May 2010.
Lianne Smith took the two children to Lloret de Mar on the Costa
Blanca and checked into the £53-a-night Hotel Miramar where she
behaved as if they were on holiday for three days before killing
In the video she told
detectives: “I gave them a three-day holiday, a perfect holiday.
"Because it was the end of the road. I knew they were going to
take my children to England.
“My daughter didn’t
want to go. I know it’s not right to take a life. I felt I was in
“My intention was that my children and
me together would go. It wasn’t just the children.”
n court today Smith, from Lichfield, Staffs, refused to answer
more than 100 questions from state prosecutor Victor Pillado
But she spent five minutes answering
those from her defence lawyer Jenifer Lahoz Abos, who said her
client admitted killing the two children but called for her to be
acquitted on mental health grounds.
ex-boss of children’s services at Cumbria County Council, wept as
she insisted: “I love my children.”
Asked if she
remembered what happened on the night she killed her children, she
replied: “Not exactly.”
Mr Quintas told the jury
that Smith “took advantage of the trust the children gave her as
their mother” when she killed them.
that they were asleep and “totally incapable of defending
He called for Smith to be jailed
for 38 years for two counts of murder, adding: “The prosecution
says she was not suffering mental illness.”
Martin Smith, an ex-TV psychic, was jailed for 16 years at
Manchester crown court in March 2011 for repeatedly raping Smith’s
daughter from a previous relationship, Sarah Richardson.
Mrs Richardson, now a nurse, waived her right to anonymity to
explain he abused her for a decade after attempting to put her in
Martin, 46, was convicted of
11 counts of rape, attempted rape, indecency with a child and
He hanged himself in his cell
at HMP Manchester in January.
Letter from murder charge mother tells of
A mother who has
admitted killing her two children in a Spanish hotel spoke of
giving them a ''short and wonderful holiday'' prior to their
deaths, it has emerged.
May 29, 2010
Rebecca Smith, five, and her 11-month-old brother Daniel were
found dead at the Hotel Miramar in Lloret de Mar, on the Costa
Brava, on May 18.
Their mother, Lianne Smith, who is now in
custody, admitted asphyxiating them with a plastic bag, Spanish
court officials said.
In a letter seen by the Daily Mail, Mrs Smith
said she fled her home in Barcelona and headed to the resort
because people were trying to ''take my children''.
The letter reads: ''...an attempt was made to
take my children.
''Fortunately I got out of the city with them
and gave them a short and wonderful holiday before the events you
will start to hear about in the press.''
Smith sent the letter, along with photographs of her and the
children, to a publicist she had contacted through the internet.
The family fled from the UK in 2007 after the
children's father, Martin Smith, 45, was arrested over alleged
child sex offences.
Smith, originally from North Shields, was one
of Britain's most wanted men until Spanish police tracked him down
and arrested him earlier this month.
Mrs Smith has said she was worried the
authorities would take her children from her.
The letter also says Mrs Smith believed events
were ''turning'' against her.
She explains that she headed for the resort as
she had spent three weeks there with her partner when they first
moved to Spain in 2007.
Spanish police have said she tried to kill
herself before she was arrested in connection with her children's
Mrs Smith, 43, was transferred to prison last
Friday after a judge in Blanes, near Lloret de Mar, ruled that a
case should be brought against her.
A document detailing last Friday's court
hearing read: ''Smith spontaneously declared that she had killed
her two children.
''Asked if she wanted to be present when the
two bodies were removed, she declined as she said she had already
said goodbye to her two children.''
She was formerly a manager at Cumbria County
Council's children's services department but did not work directly
Her partner appeared before Carlisle
magistrates earlier this month charged with 13 sexual offences and
one count of jumping bail.
Spanish murder suspect Lianne Smith refusing
food and drink in prison
The British mother jailed after confessing to
killing her two children in the hotel room of a Spanish holiday
resort is refusing to eat or drink, it has emerged.
By Fiona Govan - Telegraph.co.uk
May 22, 2010
Lianne Smith is being held on
remand in Girona prison following the murder of Rebecca, five, and
11-month old Daniel at the Hotel Miramar in Lloret de Mar, on the
Costa Brava, on Tuesday.
In a court hearing on
Friday a judge heard that she had admitted to suffocating her
children by placing a plastic bag over their heads.
She reportedly then tried to kill herself using the same method
and left what was intended to be a suicide note, in which she
asked for forgiveness, at the scene.
fear that the 43-year-old may make further attempts to take her
own life after she told them: "I want to join my children on the
Prison guards have Smith on 24-hour
suicide watch in a cell on her own and away from other inmates at
the city jail where she was transferred on Friday evening.
he is reportedly refusing to eat or drink, according to prison
sources, and has already been visited by a medic at the jail and
by British consular staff.
Smith may be asked to
decide whether the bodies of her two youngest children should be
repatriated to Britain or buried in Spain when they are released
following full results of the post mortems carried out at Girona's
Institute of Legal Medicine.
It is understood
that no relatives have yet come forward to claim responsibility
for the bodies of the two youngsters.
father, Martin Smith, 45, was arrested in Barcelona at the home he
shared with his partner and two children, on May 7 for child sex
offences after being on the run from British police for more than
The self-styled television psychic
who appeared on a list of most wanted Britons was extradited to
Britain last Tuesday, around the same time that the murders were
discovered, and appeared in Carlisle court the following day. He
too, has been remanded into custody.
worked for Cumbria County Council before fleeing to Spain with her
partner of 18 years, where she retrained as an English language
teacher. During her court hearing, it emerged that she had told
Catalan authorities that she feared that social services were
about to take Rebecca and Daniel into care.
has two older children, both now adults, from a previous
British mother 'spent night with dead
children in Spainish hotel'
mother accused of killing her two young children in a Spanish
resort spent the night beside their dead bodies before alerting
police, it has emerged.
By Fiona Govan - Telegraph.co.uk
May 22, 2010
Lianne Angela Smith suffocated Rebecca, five, and 11-month-old
Daniel by putting a plastic bag over their heads, then attempted
to kill herself using the same method, police sources have
She reportedly left a suicide note in which she
wrote: “I hope you can forgive me”.
The 43-year-old allegedly killed the children
and attempted suicide late Monday and spent the night lying beside
their lifeless bodies, finally alerting the hotel reception on
Tuesday around 2pm, it was reported in Catalan daily newspaper El
Officers found the bodies of the two children
lying side by side tucked up in the bed of room 101 at the
four-star Miramar Hotel in the popular resort of Lloret de Mar on
the Costa Brava north of Barcelona.
Their deaths came less than two weeks after Mrs
Smith’s partner, Martin Smith, 45, originally from North Shields,
was arrested in Barcelona in connection with sex offences against
children in the UK.
A self-styled TV psychic, he had been on the
run for two years and was traced by Spanish police after his
partner reported a robbery at their rented apartment in Barcelona.
Just hours before she left the city and drove
50 miles north to Lloret de Mar, Mrs Smith hired a nanny to live
in the family home in the Catalan capital.
Mimi Buckley, 21, from Merseyside, answered an
advertisement for a live-in position on Wednesday 12 May. She
moved into the Smith’s rented apartment near the Sagrada Famila
two days later but within 24 hours the mother had taken the
children and disappeared.
“I think she meant to hire me as a nanny, leave
her children with me and then commit suicide,” said Miss Buckley.
“But I don’t think she could bear to leave them, so she did what
she did. It’s so sad.”
She described the children as "beautiful" and
spoke of Rebecca's love of drawing and "girly things".
Mrs Smith today appeared before a judge in a
closed court hearing in the town of Blanes, four miles south along
the coast from the crime scene.
After several hours in front of the magistrate
she was expected to be remanded into custody and taken either to a
prison in the regional capital Girona or to a secure psychiatric
unit, depending on the assessment of her mental state.
Mrs Smith, who has two older children from a
previous relationship, reportedly blamed herself for inadvertently
leading police to her partner, whom she maintained was innocent of
The couple, who met in 1992 and are not married
but have the same surname, fled to Spain with their daughter two
and a half years ago after he was charged and bailed for sexual
offences on a minor.
They had another child, she retrained as an
English language teacher, and attempted to set up pre-school
groups for English speaking children in the Catalan capital.
Mr Smith, who appeared on a “most wanted”
criminal list released by British police nine months ago, used the
alias “Tony Ross” and kept a low profile but was discovered by the
Mossos d'Esquadra, Catalonia's regional police force, and arrested
on May 7.
He was extradited to Britain last week and on
Wednesday appeared in court in Carlisle.
Mrs Smith has been on 24 hour suicide watch
after telling police that she “intends to join her children on the
She has made a full confession, according to
police sources, in which she claimed that she was motivated by the
fear that her children would be taken into care.
Spanish toddler deaths: The nightmare of
The note fixed to the wooden door
of hotel room 101 read: “Do not disturb, my children are ill.”
By Jeremy Armstrong - Mirror.co.uk
May 20, 2010
The note fixed to the wooden door of hotel room 101 read: “Do not
disturb, my children are ill.”
But behind it was
a nightmare scenario where the lifeless bodies of 11-month-old
Daniel and Rebecca, five, lay – allegedly suffocated by their
disturbed mother Lianne Smith.
apparently killed them by holding plastic bags over their heads
until they stopped breathing.
It is believed
Lianne, 43, then made a failed suicide attempt before going to
reception and asking staff to call police in the Spanish resort of
Lloret de Mar.
As police uncovered more details
behind the horrific deaths yesterday, it was revealed she feared
Daniel and Rebecca would be taken into care after their dad was
arrested on child sex offences.
45, who had been on the run for two years, was extradited to
Britain from Barcelona on Tuesday.
at Carlisle magistrates’ court yesterday to face 13 child sex
charges just hours after being told of the deaths.
Staff at Lloret’s Miramar hotel, on the Costa Brava, said Lianne
was in a “zombie state” immediately after the deaths.
A security guard said: “She came downstairs and calmly asked
reception to call the police and send them to her room. Then she
sat down on the sofa in reception and just stared into space and
waited for them to arrive. She was completely unemotional.
“Police and ambulance arrived and it all went crazy and through it
all she was just sitting there, staring.”
According to reports, Lianne left a confession note in the room,
which was found by officers alongside the children’s bodies.
Yesterday, the former council education officer was held in a
police station in Blanis, near Barcelona, waiting to appear in
Miramar guests Siiri and Andres Sonajalg
returned to their four-star hotel at 2.30pm on Tuesday to find the
area full of police. Room 101 had been sealed.
Siiri, 47, said: “We saw men with white gloves and lots of
“I am so shocked as everyone at the
hotel seems so normal and you can’t imagine something like this.”
Andres, 49, added: “When we arrived back the ambulance was there
and we realise now they must have been trying to revive the
children. It’s very tragic.”
The door to the
Smiths’ rented £750-a-month flat in Barcelona was yesterday sealed
with police tape. It is in the same street as Kylie Minogue’s
boyfriend Andres Velencoso.
Asencio, who lived two floors below, said: “I can’t believe this
English woman is the one under arrest.
just so awful. She had been living here for about six months with
her partner and their two children. I saw her more than I did him.
She kept herself to herself but always said hello.”
Smith was one of Britain’s most wanted men after skipping bail in
Police captured him in Barcelona on May 7
after a local restaurant owner helped police to find him.
The businessman, who asked not to be named, said: “The police
showed me a photo and I recognised him as someone who came to eat
here from time to time.
“He must have been in
about four or five times in the last few months. They came back
afterwards to say they had found him and thank me for my help.”
Smith and Lianne flitted from home to home across the north west
of England between 2003 and 2007.
Up to 2003,
they rented a small, double-fronted, pebbled-dashed bungalow in
the village of Brampton, near Carlisle, Cumbria, from the owner of
a local garden centre.
They left unexpectedly,
according to Rod McCloud, who has lived their since.
He said: “The landlord told me they did a moonlight flit. The
place was completely empty. I never met them.”
From there, Smith and Lianne moved to Blackpool, where their
daughter Rebecca was born in 2005. Rebecca’s birth certificate
confirmed Smith was her father. But locals in the seaside town
claim they rarely saw the family – and they again left in a hurry.
The family lived in a white-washed, three-bed, large Victorian
terrace in the heart of the town, with a view of Blackpool Tower.
But the landlord of their former home said the couple had
disappeared from the property with their daughter, leaving unpaid
rent and the house in a terrible state. He said: “There were toys
all over the place and filth – it was appalling.”
They returned to Cumbria to a three-bed house in Carlisle, but
Smith was arrested on suspicion of child sex charges, and skipped
bail. A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “They just
disappeared one day.”
They moved to Lichfield,
Staffs, on a modern estate for six months before upping and
leaving out of the blue three years ago. One neighbour recalled:
“Her husband was quite ignorant – he was anti-social and didn’t
speak at all. On one occasion, I spoke to him as he was getting
into his car but he completely ignored me. I thought maybe he was
deaf but next time he did the same thing. He just did not want to
associate with us.”
Staffordshire Police said:
“We are very saddened to hear of the tragic deaths. We had been
treating Lianne and Rebecca Smith as missing since December 2007.
“Shortly before this time they had moved to Lichfield, but within
a short period they had moved again and their whereabouts were
Smith faces charges of rape of a
child, gross indecency with a girl, indecent assault of a girl and
attempted rape of a girl. He could not be granted bail yesterday
after Carlisle crown court heard he was suicidal and had already
attempted to take his own life.
bodies have been held in Lloret de Mar and were this morning being
taken to the morgue in Girona where a post-mortem will take place
to confirm cause of death.