Heathfield murder mother must serve full 32 year sentence

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A HEATHFIELD mother who smothered her two toddlers to death has lost her appeal against the length of her sentence.

Fiona Donnison had moved to Lightwater, Surrey after living in Mill Road, Heathfield. She was sentenced to at least 32 years imprisonment after jurors convicted her of murdering Harry, three and Elise, two at the end of a three-week trial in Lewes last summer.

During the trial the court was told how Donnison, 45 had killed the children in Surrey, packed their bodies into bags and placed the bags in the boot of her Nissan Note car in January. Before delivering a unanimous verdict, the jury heard evidence that suggested the children’s bodies, particularly Harry’s, had been contorted to pack into the bags.

Donnison then drove down motorways to Heathfield, stopping to shop twice en route, before parking the car round the corner in Mill Close. The jury was told she broke into the house and waited with knives for her husband. He did not go to the house that night. The following morning she shopped in the town, withdrew money from a cash machine then went to Heathfield police station, saying she had killed her children.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Openshaw and Mr Justice Irwin said: “In our judgment the judge’s decision about the relevant minimum term in this dreadful case was within the appropriate range and there is no basis with which we should interfere with the assessment that a minimum term of 32 years should be served.”

At the time of sentencing, Mr Justice Nicol said the jury rejected her defence that she was suffering from serious depression and was not in her right mind. She had been described as a narcissist with an overdeveloped sense of self-importance and entitlement.