A ‘materialistic’ mum drowned her twin children on Boxing Day following the breakdown of her marriage.
Samantha Ford admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility but denied murdering her 23-month-old toddlers Jake and Chloe.
The 38-year-old drowned the children at her home in Westwood, Kent, and then later crashed her car into a lorry.
Ford had not wanted to leave the couple’s lavish lifestyle in Qatar – and was ’emotionally controlling’, the Old Bailey was told.
She avoided a murder trial after the prosecution accepted her plea to the lesser charge at a previous hearing in June after a judge ordered a psychiatric report.
Ford’s marriage to her husband Steven – who has paid tribute to his “beautiful babies” – had broken down in the months before she killed their children.
The court heard Ford had sent a message on Christmas Day, telling someone: “I just need to end. I just need something to strike him to make him know what he’s doing”.
Their bodies were found at home after Ford’s car was involved in a crash with a lorry on the London-bound carriageway of the A299 Thanet Way just before 3am on December 27.
When rescuers arrived at the crash scene, she told them “just let me die” and “I killed my babies. I would never hurt them, they are my miracle babies.”
She added: “This is all a dream. I should have gone to the hospital sooner. He’s messing with my head.”
Police found the toddlers just after 3.30am.
Pathologists believe they were killed day before.
The court heard Ford married her husband Steven in 2008 and the couple moved to Qatar where they enjoyed an ‘affluent’ and ‘lavish’ lifestyle.
She became pregnant with twins after IVF treatment, giving birth to Jake and Chloe in 2017.
In 2018 the family moved back to the UK to a house in Charing, near Ashford in Kent, the court heard.
One message to Steven said: “Why do you choose a job in London over living in an amazing country with our children. Now our children are going to live a miserable life. Now we are destined to live a miserable life in a sh*thole.”
Ford’s ex-partner Steven provided a victim impact statement to the court, which was read to a judge by prosecutor Ed Brown QC.
He said: “The total shock and pain is indescribable.
“In that moment my life had changed in a heartbeat.
“My two beautiful babies were healthy, bright and loving children who had everything to life for.
“Being twins they were a real double act. They were quite individual in their personalities, but were also aware of each other’s presence.
“I have no doubt they would have been wonderful people.
“Jake and Chloe were wanted babies. Samantha and I went through four attempts of IVF and years of heartache.
“I have night terror these have become more frequent in recent weeks and happened in the middle of the night.
“I wake myself up screaming or throwing items within my reach in my bedroom.
“I find these incidents particularly disturbing. Sometimes in the morning when I get out of bed I get out on autopilot and go to the twins room to get them up.
“Over the last few months I have been troubled with suicidal thoughts, thinking about hanging myself; although I think about the impact it would have on my parents and my family. Sometimes I feel like I can’t live like this.
“I find myself speculating what their last minutes were like. I suspect they were terrified, confused and suffering.
“I feel like I should have been able to protect them even though I know I couldn’t have.”
He told the court he felt guilty for the twin’s deaths and had no idea that anything was wrong when he dropped them back at Ford’s on Boxing Day.
The court heard in the weeks leading up to last Christmas, Ford’s health had ‘deteriorated’ and she had Google searched methods of suicide and murder.
Ed Brown QC, prosecuting, said: “We suggest there is evidence she was a materialistic person in the sense she resented losing her good lifestyle in Qatar, that she had been searching the internet and in particular about killing herself and her children.”
Ford had manslaughter by diminished responsibility at a hearing in May. She denied two counts of murder.
At a hearing in June, when the plea was accepted, Edward Brown QC, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey: “My lordship gave the prosecution time on the last occasion to consider the report of Dr Joseph carefully and consider whether pleas entered on the last occasion were acceptable to the crown.
“The prosecution team have considered all the reports and all of the facts of this case very carefully – it’s a case of great sensitivity in all respects.
“We have taken instructions, I have taken instruction from those instructing me and the father of the deceased children has of course been consulted in respect of this question.
“The results of those consultations and the advice and instruction given to me is that those pleas are acceptable and we do not ask for a trial in respect of the two counts of murder.”
Sentencing was adjourned pending a further psychiatric report into Ford’s condition and prognosis.
She remained in custody through the proceedings.
Grief-stricken Mr Ford has posted a number of tributes to his late children on Twitter , calling them his “beautiful babies”.
After the killings he wrote: “Daddy’s twins xxx my beautiful babies. I love you.”
In June he tweeted a photo of his son and daughter sat side-by-side, writing: “Today is exactly 6 months since my beautiful children were taken.
“Grief is the last act of love I can show for you both. I miss you so much.
“My heart will be forever broken.”
The sentencing hearing was adjourned until August 16 at the Old Bailey.