A psychiatrist has branded a mum who drowned her twins ‘narcissistic’ and said she wasn’t suffering from severe depression when she killed them.
Samantha Ford, 38, drowned 23-months-olds Jake and Chloe in the bath on Boxing Day last year, less than two months after her husband, Steven, left her.
Hours after killing her children, who were conceived via IVF treatment, she drove her Ford Galaxy into the back of a lorry in an apparent suicide attempt.
She told officers to ‘please let her die’ before telling them she had killed her children.
She admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility and is now facing sentence at the Old Bailey in London.
A judge will decide whether Ford should be sent to a psychiatric hospital or whether she should serve time in prison.
At the hearing, which will now run over to another date next month, her defence barrister Brenda Campbell QC said Ford had suffered a ‘catastrophic level’ of depression in the lead up to the twins death.
But a psychiatrist giving evidence on July 26 said Ford was preoccupied with the loss of her ‘perfect life’ when her husband left her, and also exhibited narcissistic personality traits.
Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Muzaffar Hussain was asked whether Ford was suffering from severe depression at the time of the twins deaths.
He said: “I think she was moderately depressed at the time and angry with Steven in the context of the exchanges they were having at the time.
“She wanted to take the children as well as herself as the means to punish him. She was able to do the first part but not the second. “I think the aggressive thoughts towards the children emanated from her aggressive thoughts towards Mr Ford because he had left her.”
Giving evidence about his diagnosis of Ford as having adjustment disorder, the psychiatrist said it could have been triggered by having to move back to England from Qatar.
Dr Hussain said Ford suffered from depression and anxiety after the move which worsened when her husband left her. He said: “In my view she had depressive symptoms at the time.
“However, at the same time she was very wounded narcissistically by Mr Ford’s departure from the family home and how her perfect life, which she felt was perfect in every way, was taken away from her.
“I think from my reading of her social media and text messages there was a substantial component of narcissistic range at the time.
“Of not being able to control Mr Ford, an intention to control him in the sense of keeping him in the family and keeping the perfect life with the children – and that played a big part as well as the adjustment disorder.
“My understanding of her is that it did not approach the severity of becoming a personality disorder because those traits were compensated with the relationship she had at the time with Mr Ford.”
Dr Hussain said Ford’s claims she ‘heard a male voice telling her to kill the children’ was an ’embellishment’. He said: “I have no evidence she was psychotic at the time, and there’s no evidence she’s been psychotic since.
“In my opinion the self report of voices is embellishment. This is not to say there were intrusive thoughts which were part of the post-traumatic symptoms which she had at the time.
“The embellishment, I think it is a conscious colouring of the mental health narrative. It’s a wish to appear more severely ill than she is. “I am not denying she’s ill, but I think there’s a wish by her to appear more severely ill than she is.”
The psychiatrist said Ford had spoken to staff at the hospital she is being treated at about her lavish lifestyle in Qatar, and he believes it is the loss of that lifestyle she is still mourning.
He said: “What we find is what she’s most regretful about is losing that perfect life, a perfect life with Steve in Qatar. A perfect life with her miracle children. The perfect house.
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“It’s the loss of that that she grieves. In my view that’s a balanced view of where she is in the grieving process. I don’t think she’s grieving for the children yet, I think she’s grieving for the loss of her life.
“She’s grieving for the children in that they were perfect children in a perfect life. “She described the quest to have these children in what I thought were idealistic terms. Getting on the list of the miracle clinic which would help get these beautiful children.
“The children soon have to be the outcome of the want to get them in this perfect life.”
The sentencing hearing was adjourned until August 16th at the Old Bailey.