May 29, 2010

‘Social Services in Staffordshire and their policy of “forced adoptions” are to blame for this,’ she writes.

Heartbreaking last letter from murder-charge mother: ‘They’re trying to take my children. I’m giving them a wonderful holiday before events you will start to read about…’
Last updated at 7:52 AM on 29th May 2010
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Gently holding her baby son, Lianne Smith is a picture of proud parenthood.
Hours later, the boy and his sister were dead and their mother had tried to kill herself.
The haunting photograph, apparently taken by Mrs Smith’s five-year-old daughter Rebecca, was included in a package which was posted from Spain to England.
It arrived only yesterday and is revealed exclusively in the Daily Mail. The fugitive mother compiled an album of their ‘wonderful holiday’ together on the Costa Brava, then sent it off with a farewell letter before allegedly smothering Rebecca and 11-month-old Daniel with a plastic bag almost two weeks ago.
Hours left to live: Baby Daniel Smith in his mother Lianne’s arms
The package leaves little doubt that the tormented teacher mapped out every last detail of her actions, and was fully in control until the end.
Crucially, a line in her letter pinpoints the exact moment  –  and the reason  –  she decided to put her plan into action.
She reveals that ‘an attempt was made to take my children’  –  so she intended to give them ‘a short and wonderful holiday before events you will start to hear about in the press’.
Smiling and apparently untroubled: Lianne Smith poses for the camera
Mrs Smith, 43, who is accused of her children’s murder, sent the package to a publicist she had contacted through the internet after the arrest of her partner Martin Anthony Smith.
He became one of Britain’s most wanted men when he fled with her to Spain more than two years ago to avoid child sex charges.
The former TV ‘psychic’ was taken from the flat they shared in Barcelona on May 8, and extradited to Britain shortly afterwards.
Ice-cream treat: Rebecca prepares to tuck into a sundae
Mrs Smith, a former child protection expert with Cumbria County Council, refused to believe he was guilty  –  and hoped publicity over her plight would allow her to keep custody of her children while she fought the allegations on his behalf.
In an anguished telephone interview with the publicist, she sobbed: ‘I really don’t know how I’ll cope.’
On May 14, she was panicked into fleeing Barcelona after what she described as ‘an attempt to take my children’. It is thought that Spanish social workers had tried to contact her.
She headed for Lloret de Mar, the resort where she and Smith spent three weeks after they arrived in Spain. The neatly written letter gives the clearest indication yet that she intended to end her life alongside her children.
According to experts, it was the work of someone who strives to maintain control over the situation in which she finds herself  –  ‘at whatever cost’.
The last trip to the beach: Five-year-old Rebecca Smith and her 11-month-old brother Daniel crawl happily in the sand together near the family’s Costa hotel
She put her Barcelona home address at the top and dated it Sunday May 16.
By that time, she was already staying in the beachfront hotel where the children’s bodies would be discovered less than 48 hours later. Crucially, she already speaks about them in the past tense.
Without explaining why, she says she packed essentials for only three days.
The letter from Mrs Smith, who lived in Lichfield, Staffordshire, before fleeing to Spain, coldly shifts responsibility for what happened.
Epitaph to a lost son and daughter: Extracts from the letter sent back to England by Lianne Smith
‘Social Services in Staffordshire and their policy of “forced adoptions” are to blame for this,’ she writes. Foretelling her own death, she adds: ‘If we were only dealing with the police and court system I would still be here for Martin.’
The final line appears to have been added as an afterthought. It makes certain that the exact location of room 101, where the bodies would be discovered, was identified.
‘Our hotel is the MIRAMAR,’ she writes. ‘Our room is the 1st floor far right.’ As it turned out, no one needed a guide like this to find them.
Mrs Smith survived to alert the authorities herself despite apparently using the same plastic bag which smothered the children on herself. This was followed by a further suicide attempt when she slashed her wrists.
Tender moments: Daniel plays with a banana next to the bed where he died and Rebecca enjoys a ride on the swings
What looks certain now is that the children’s deaths were not the result of any single, overwhelming moment of torment  –  but the culmination of a desperate, carefully calculated escape Mrs Smith had been planning for days.
Chillingly, the evidence suggests she took the pictures, wrote the letter, got the film developed  –  then put the rest of her plan into action.
The letter was written in blue roller-ball on two sides of A4 paper. It was sent in the same package as the set of colour prints, negatives, two blank Lloret de Mar postcards and rough copies of passport identity pages. It bore three Spanish stamps and was marked ‘Urgent’.
In one of the photographs, an envelope just like the one that arrived can be seen on Daniel’s bed, with a pen and paper nearby.
In another, also apparently taken by Rebecca, Mrs Smith is seen smiling and apparently untroubled.

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