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Sunday 25 August 2019

Mum murdered two daughters after 'they got in way of sex life'

Louise Porton and the two daughters she was convicted of murdering, Lexi and Scarlett. Photo: PA
Louise Porton and the two daughters she was convicted of murdering, Lexi and Scarlett. Photo: PA
Lexi and Scarlett

A mother has been convicted of murdering her two young daughters after they "got in the way" of her sex life.

Louise Porton had denied killing three-year-old Lexi Draper and 17-month-old Scarlett Vaughan, but was found guilty by a unanimous jury decision at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday after a five-week trial.

Porton blinked as the verdicts were read out and then sat in the court dock, one hand over her eyes, head bowed.

Jurors heard Porton had accepted 41 friend requests on a dating app only a day after the first child Lexi died, and was described by prosecutors as being "calm and emotionless" following Scarlett's death.

When Lexi was ill in hospital, just over a week before she died, Porton took topless photos in the toilets and was arranging to perform sex acts for money with a man she had met through a website.

Bleeding

The 23-year-old suffocated Lexi in the early hours of January 15 last year and was then heard "laughing" at a funeral parlour two days before killing Scarlett just over two weeks later, on February 1.

Prosecutors said it had app-eared to the funeral arranger present that Porton was "using FaceTime and that she was speaking to a man".

Jurors were told that after police seized her phone, they uncovered searches including how long it took a dead body "to go cold up to the shoulder" and "five weird things that happen when you die".

Opening the case at the start of the trial, prosecutor Oliver Saxby said: "The overwhelming inference is that Lexi and Scarlett died because someone deliberately interfered with their breathing.

"That someone can only have been this defendant."

Both children had symptoms consistent with deliberate airway obstruction, and Scarlett had signs of recent bleeding in her neck tissue, suggestive of neck compression, jurors heard.

Mr Saxby said specialist doctors could find no "natural reason" for why either child had died.

Nearly two weeks before her death, Lexi had been taken to hospital on January 2 and then January 4, but was sent home with antibiotics for an apparent chest infection.

Prosecutors said that while in hospital with her sick daughter, Porton went to the toilets and took topless photos.

The prosecution alleged the mother looked online for "can you actually die if you have a blocked nose and cover your mouth with tape?" and "how long after drowning can someone be resuscitated?" and acc- essed an article called "toddler brought back to life after nearly drowning".

It was alleged Lexi had been dead for some time before a 999 call was made from her home on January 15, with Mr Saxby pointing to evidence of Porton's web searches.

After Scarlett's fatal collapse, Porton told police it was "entirely false" to suggest the toddler was already dead when she was recorded on CCTV carrying the little girl from a hotel, in Rugby, where she had been staying.

However, the paramedic responding to the subsequent non-emergency 111 call Porton made described the girl being "freezing and completely lifeless" when he arrived.

Porton, who denied wrong- doing throughout, told police: "My children were never an inconvenience to me."

She is due to be sentenced today.

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