Mother remanded over deaths of three children

Friday 25 April 2014 22.48
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Ben and Max Clarence pictured with their father Gary
Ben and Max Clarence pictured with their father Gary
Police were called to the house in New Malden on Tuesday
Police were called to the house in New Malden on Tuesday
Floral tributes outside the house where the three children were found dead
Floral tributes outside the house where the three children were found dead

A woman has been remanded in custody in the UK after she was charged with the murder of her three young children.

Tania Clarence, 42, is accused of killing her three-year-old twin sons, Ben and Max, and four year-old daughter, Olivia, at their home.

She spoke only to confirm her name, age and address at the hearing at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court this morning.

All three young children were said to have suffered from spinal muscular atrophy.

Also known as floppy baby syndrome, the genetic condition leaves children with little control of their movements and can drastically shorten life expectancy.

Police were called to the family's five-bedroom home in Thetford Road in the southwest London suburb of New Malden at 9.30pm on Tuesday night where they discovered the bodies.

Mrs Clarence, who also has an eight-year-old daughter, was arrested shortly afterwards.

Her husband Gary, who works at the City bank Investec, is said to have been away in the family's native South Africa with their eldest daughter at the time of the deaths.

No formal plea was entered.

Chairwoman of the bench Fiona Abbott said: "For these three charges you will be sent to the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey for a preliminary hearing on 9 May.

"There will be a bail application at the Central Criminal Court at 10am on 29 April."