Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Murder Acused 'Was Cold and Calm; All I Can Say Is That My Daughter Is Not the Same Person I Once Knew, Says Mum

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Murder Acused 'Was Cold and Calm; All I Can Say Is That My Daughter Is Not the Same Person I Once Knew, Says Mum

Article excerpt

Byline: GEORGE COLLINS

A COURT was told that Tyneside mum Lianne Smith showed "astonishing calm and coldness" for someone who had just the night before killed her young son and daughter in a Spanish hotel.

Smith, 45, has admitted smothering five-year-old Rebecca and 11-month-old Daniel with a plastic bag at the Miramar Hotel in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava in May 2010.

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She is on trial at the Provincial Court in Girona, north-east Spain, so a jury can determine whether she is criminally responsible for the children's deaths.

Her lawyers are seeking an acquittal, claiming she was in a state of "psychiatric disturbance" and suffering insurmountable fear when the tragedy happened. If found guilty, she faces a total of 38 years in prison.

The police officers, who were identified to the court yesterday by their badge numbers as is customary in Spain, all agreed Smith seemed calm when she confessed to the killings the day after carrying them out.

They attended the hotel after Smith, who was staying in room 101, went to reception at 1.30pm on May 18, 2010, and asked for the police and an ambulance to be called.

Agent 2681 from the Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalan regional police force, was among the first officers to get there. He said when he arrived Smith was sitting in the hotel's hall and was "constantly fixing herself up, tying and untying a neckerchief".

She was informed of her rights in Spanish and placed under arrest.

"I was shocked by her attitude, the astonishing calmness and coldness she displayed," he said.

The first officer to arrive, Agent 504 of Lloret de Mar local police, described the chilling moment when he entered room 101.

He said: "I closed the door and told the woman to stay still.

"She just pointed to the bed, and I saw little knuckles, a baby's knuckles, pointing out from under the sheets.

"First I found a baby and then a little girl, and I could see they were both dead. …

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