Indian-origin woman convicted of killing daughters in UK

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 12:25

London: An Indian-origin woman, who was found guilty of stabbing her daughters to death at her home in Cambridgeshire, is scheduled to be sentenced shortly.

Rekha Kumari-Baker, 41, admitted the killings but had denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Davina Baker, 16, and Jasmine Baker, 13, were killed with a kitchen knife in a frenzied attack in 2007.

A jury at the Cambridge Crown Court took about 30 minutes to reach a verdict of guilty on both counts of murder. The court was told that Davina was stabbed 39 times at the house in Stretham, on 13 June 2007.

There were wounds on the girl`s body which showed she had tried to defend herself. Kumari-Baker, a hotel worker, then attacked her younger daughter in similar fashion.
The jury was told that after killing the children she rang a friend to say: "I have done something terrible."

In a hand-written note which she left at the murder scene, she wrote: "I don`t want them to get hurt as I did." She concluded the note by writing: "My kids will not be a burden to anyone anymore."

The court heard there was "much contention" between her and her ex-husband over the care and custody of their children.

One theory was that Kumari-Baker wanted to "wreak havoc" on her ex-husband David Baker by killing the girls. She had also been distressed by a break-up of a relationship with her boyfriend Jeff Powell, the court heard.

Psychiatrist Lyle Hamilton, who was called to give evidence by Kumari-Baker`s lawyers, said medical literature showed that women had killed children because they were "mentally ill" and because they were a "retaliatory type".

He said Kumari-Baker displayed a combination of both categories.

But Dr Neil Hunt, a consultant psychiatrist, told jurors he did not think there was evidence of any mental illness, despite Kumari-Baker`s "extreme and unusual behaviour".

After the verdicts, Detective Inspector Jim McCrorie said: "It became clear, as this investigation progressed, that Rekha Kumari-Baker set out to murder her children.

"Only she will know the reasons why she carried out such a vicious and deliberate attack as they lay sleeping in their beds. Davina and Jasmine were two innocent young teenagers who were killed by the person they should have been able to trust most in this world.

"In 25 years in the police service I have never before investigated such an upsetting or sickening crime."

After the hearing, businessman Mr Baker said "not a day passes" when he did not think of Davina and Jasmine.

"I was robbed of my daughters by an act of calculated viciousness by a woman who, having given life to them, in her vindictive mind believed she also had a right to take that life from them. She will now pay the price for this."

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 12:25

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