Suffolk

Lowestoft's Fiona Anderson 'killed children and wrote on bodies'

Levina, Addy and Kyden Image copyright Archant
Image caption Levina, Addy and Kyden were found drowned at their Lowestoft flat

A pregnant woman killed her three children before writing "I love you" on their bodies, kissing them and tucking them up in bed, an inquest heard.

Fiona Anderson, 23, was found dead on 15 April last year next to a multi-storey car park in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Police later discovered the bodies of Levina, 3, Addy, 2, and 11-month-old Kyden, in their mother's bed at their home in London Road South in the town.

The inquest heard there was evidence they had been drowned in the bath.

When police officers visited Miss Anderson's home, they found she had written on the walls using a green marker pen, the coroner's court in Bury St Edmunds was told.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Fiona Anderson was heavily pregnant with her fourth child when she died
Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption CCTV footage showed Miss Anderson less than two hours before she was found dead

One of the messages read: "I put them to bed with their bear bears - they loved their bears."

Another read: "I love them and I'm going to keep them safe."

One more said: "They're cuddled up together sleeping. They look so peaceful."

Each of the children had a heart drawn on their torso in green ink to create the message "I love you x", Ch Insp Andy Smith told the inquest.

Police also found evidence of a lipstick kiss mark on each of their foreheads.

The heavily pregnant Miss Anderson had written the names of each child on her own body, along with the name Eve, which she intended to name her unborn daughter, the inquest heard.

Image copyright Craig McLelland
Image caption Fiona Anderson had argued with the children's father Craig McLelland the day before the killings

Ch Insp Smith said the day before the killings, she had argued with the children's father, Craig McClelland, after he began a new relationship.

She stabbed him during this confrontation but he initially lied to police and said he had been stabbed in the street by a stranger.

Ch Insp Smith said: "He later told us he lied to protect Fiona and stop the children being taken into care.

"It is clear that Fiona Anderson loved her children but that she was extremely emotionally disturbed on April 13, 14 and 15."

He added a torn-up letter recovered after her death provided "a harrowing insight into her life".

"She felt unable to cope with the situation and apologetically outlined her intention to take her children with her," Mr Smith said.

"In her words: a mother never abandons her children."

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Fiona Anderson said on Facebook she would never let anybody hurt her children

The family had been known to a variety of care agencies since she first became pregnant in 2009, coroner Peter Dean said.

Child protection plans were in place after concerns over possible physical and emotional neglect were raised.

A serious case review by independent expert Ron Lock for Suffolk Local Safeguarding Children Board was read to the hearing.

It found the family had been considered "hard to reach" as Miss Anderson had refused to engage with children's services since her first pregnancy.

Because of her refusal to co-operate, no mental health assessment could be carried out.

"If the children had been placed into care this could have avoided this tragic outcome," Mr Lock said in the report.

A post-mortem examination found no evidence the children had been restrained or assaulted.

The coroner recorded Miss Anderson took her own life and the three children were unlawfully killed.

Mr Dean said he was satisfied Suffolk County Council had done everything it could since the deaths to improve procedures.

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