A TYNESIDE mother who suffocated her young son and daughter in a Spanish hotel said she had given them a "perfect holiday" before killing them, a court heard yesterday.
Lianne Smith, 45, has admitted suffocating daughter Rebecca Smith, five, and 11-month-old son Daniel with a plastic bag and then sleeping with their bodies at the Miramar Hotel in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava in May 2010.
Smith feared her children were going to be taken into care after her partner, Martin Smith, was arrested in Barcelona for charges of sexual abuse.
Martin Smith, from North Shields, North Tyneside, was later jailed for 16 years but hung himself in Strangeways prison in January.
Lianne Smith, who is originally from Wallsend, went on trial yesterday at the Provincial Court in Girona, north east Spain, so a jury can determine whether she is criminally responsible for the children’s deaths.
The court heard she killed her son and daughter after making a "clean break with reality" and believing she was being followed by authorities wanting to take her children into care. Her defence is 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 family had been living in Spain since 2007 after fleeing from Lichfield in Staffordshire when Mr Smith was accused of sexually abusing a young girl.
After Mr Smith was deported to the United Kingdom, his partner became obsessed with the idea that British social services were in Spain to take her children away from her.
Lloret de Mar was where she and Martin Smith had gone when they first arrived from England, so she withdrew money and went there to hide with her children.
Giving evidence yesterday, Smith refused to answer questions from the prosecution, as is her right under Spanish law.
But the jury were shown a video of a statement she made to police the day after the children died, filmed in a room next to where the killings took place.
In the video, a tearful Smith told police: "I gave my children a three-day holiday, a perfect holiday, we were very, very happy. We came here (to Lloret) with nothing, we had left everything again.
"This was the end of the road, I knew my children would be taken back to England. My daughter didn’t want to go, she didn’t want to leave me.
"So I know it’s not right to take another life, but I felt I was in a corner and my intention was for me and my children to go. It was not just the children, it was me as well."
The court heard that after killing the children, Lianne tried to take her own life by cutting herself with razors, covering her head with a plastic bag, hanging herself with telephone cable and drowning in a bath.
Answering questions from her lawyer, Jenifer Lahoz Abos, Smith explained that she had gone to Lloret after seeing two people outside her house when she went shopping early one morning.
She said: "I knew and I could feel they were from social services and they had come to take the children, and I love my children, I love my children."
In her statement to police, Smith said she had killed the children while they slept and claimed they had not offered resistance.
She said she felt as if "someone else" had done the killing.