Hasan Suroor

LONDON: A British woman of Indian origin was on Tuesday jailed for life and ordered to spend at least 33 years in prison for killing her two teenaged daughters in what was described as an act of “revenge” against her former husband.

Rekha Kumari-Baker (41), a waitress from Stretham Cambridgeshire, killed Davina (16) and Jasmine (13) in the early hours of June 13, 2007, as they slept in their beds. She stabbed them with two kitchen knives that she had bought a few days before the murders allegedly with the specific purpose of using them to kill the girls.

The woman was said to be upset that her former husband David Baker was in a new relationship.

She had also broken up with her boyfriend and quit her job after a dispute with her employers.

Describing the murders as a “cruel and vicious act,” the prosecution claimed that she killed her daughters to “wreak havoc” on her ex- husband.

In a note found on the scene of the murders, she wrote: “I don’t want them to get hurt as I did.”

The jury rejected her defence of “diminished responsibility” caused by depression.

‘Compelling evidence’

Sentencing her at Cambridge Crown Court, the judge, Mr. Justice Bean, said she was found guilty on the strength of “clear and compelling” evidence.

“Most people will find it inexplicable that a mother could kill her own children and you have given no explanation for it,” he said.

“Your defence of diminished responsibility was flimsy and unsubstantial. You knew quite well what you were doing and you were not mentally ill,” he added.

“Sickening crime”

Detective Inspector Jim McCrorie, who investigated the case, said that in his 25-year career he had “never before investigated such an upsetting or sickening crime.”

In a statement, Mr. Baker said he was “haunted by the horror of the events of that night and probably will remain so for a very long time.”

“She tore them from us all and life can’t be the same for those who remain,” he said.