Published: 16:17, 16 August 2019
| Updated: 18:55, 16 August 2019
By Berny Torre
A “controlling” mother who drowned her "miracle" twins in a bath after her husband left her was today jailed for 10 years.
Samantha Ford, 38, became obsessed with losing her “perfect life” in Qatar and killed 23-month-olds Jake and Chloe on Boxing Day last year.
Ford - described as "materialistic" during the sentencing hearing - left a suicide note before attempting to kill herself by driving into a lorry hours later in Margate, Kent.
Her heartbroken husband Steven Ford, who attended the Old Bailey hearing, said her actions were the “ultimate punishment”.
His wife admitted two counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility, saying in a letter read to the court: "I’m in torment. The fact they are not alive because of me is the hardest part of all."
She showed little emotion as she was sentenced before a packed public gallery by Judge Andrew Edis QC.
He said she would be transferred to a mental health ward and would serve the rest of her sentence in jail once she is discharged.
He said: "You knew it would devastate him and I’m sure that’s one reason why you did it.
“You had killed the children within half an hour of their return to you by their grandparents.
“You killed them, dressed them, dried them and placed them back in their beds, their bodies facing away from each other towards the wall. You wrote the note and quickly left.
“The loss of these two young lives is a tragedy which will haunt their father and other members of two families for the rest of their lives. I accept it will also haunt you because you loved the children.
"You decided not to kill yourself and not to jump off the cliff, although that had been your plan. On your journey back from the cliff in your car you decided to drive in to the rear of a truck in a suicide attempt.
“This was very controlled behaviour and not impulsive or frenzied. You had been considering doing this for some time as your google searches demonstrated.
“I accept you are a serious risk of suicide still.”
She was sentenced to 10 years for each count, to run concurrently.
Earlier Brenda Campbell QC, in mitigation, read a statement from her client that said: “I’m in torment.
"Their loss to me is indescribable and physically and mentally hurts.
"The fact they are not alive because of me is the hardest part of all."
Ms Campbell added: “At the heart of this case it falls to your lordship to sentence a young mother who has been destroyed by her actions, who has destroyed and devastated family and friends and communities on all sides.
“Samantha Ford sits before you as a young woman of good character who no-one foresaw would ever be in this situation.”
The QC said her client’s family laughed at her “controlling” tendencies and added: “The reality is that the very characteristics that made her family love her and accept her for who she is; that made her an excellent mother to those two children, that made her able to look after them largely by herself in Qatar and following the move to England; that made her able to control two babies home alone all day, are also aspects of her personality that made her particularly susceptible to the catastrophic decline of her mental health.
“The anger towards him (Steven Ford) as a result of the breakdown of the marriage is entirely independent of what she did on the 26th into the 27th of December."