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  1. #1
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    UK - Olivia, 4, twins Ben & Max Clarence, 3, smothered, London, 22 April 2014

    All three children are understood to have had a life limiting genetic condition. Their mother has been arrested for murder. An older child was unharmed.


    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime...n-9276884.html

  2. #2
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    How sad, RIP little ones.

  3. #3
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    UK/SA-3 children dead, mother arrested. Apr22 '14

    Tania Clarence, the mother of twin boys age three and a girl, age four, has been arrested after the children were found dead in New Malden, London, on Tuesday night. She was taken to hospital with minor injuries, before her arrest.

    She and her husband Gerald Clarence, are orginally from South Africa. He works for an investment bank, while the mother is said to have been at home full time with their four children. The three children who died are all said to have been affected by a serious genetic disorder that led to disabilities and was 'life-limiting.'

    Neighbours have spoken of the couple's dedication to their children. The oldest child was not harmed.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-27122410

    http://news.sky.com/story/1247433/mu...ren-found-dead

    http://ewn.co.za/2014/04/23/SA-coupl...und-dead-in-UK
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  4. #4
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    BBC Radio is announcing the mother has been charged with murder now, so I will try and find a link.
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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  5. #5
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    The Mail has the update. And the cost of the couple's house, of course....

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...th-London.html. The children were affected by spinal muscular atrophy. She was pregnant with the twin boys when she discovered her older child had the condition. Then the twins were affected too.

    Father was in SA with the eldest daughter when the killings happened.

    Poor little tots. I don't know what to say, except I hope they didn't suffer. It looks like they could only have expected short natural lives anyway. What a pity they didn't even get that.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...th-London.html
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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  6. #6
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    Family left SA 10 years ago. Father was in Cape Town with eldest daughter at the time of the tragedy.

    http://ewn.co.za/2014/04/23/UK-polic...-is-in-custody
    We 'embraced' the missing Bob Harrod case as requested but 6 years on, are still waiting for further guidance


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  7. #7
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    Sorry, I just noticed that I originally put this in the wrong forum.

    SMA seems to come in multiple types:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinal_..._atrophy#Types

    https://www.counsyl.com/services/fam...cular-atrophy/

    I'm not a doctor, but from what's been reported, type 2 seems most likely. In which case the children would have had normal intelligence and would have had reduced life expectancy but would be expected to live into adulthood.

  8. #8
    "Police said she had suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital but was later discharged and arrested on suspicion of murder."

    Minor injuries, huh? I hope those kids fought back. I hope they hurt her. I hope they smashed her into the wall with their wheelchairs. She deserved every ounce of pain and then some.

    I have two friends with similar disorders--progressive muscular weakness, different types of muscular dystrophy, with both of them now using wheelchairs and needing daily assistance. They're both graduate students, one in history and the other in psychology. They're happy. Their lives are as fulfilling as anyone else's. Their life expectancies are shorter than the average person's, and yeah, it's a progressive disability--but they're just living their lives, like anybody.

    That article's all whining about how they had to make their house wheelchair accessible and how much it cost and what the kids needed... I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. Kids take money and kids take time and that's true whether they're disabled or not. If somebody complained about needing to change a baby's diaper or take a kid to school or cook dinner for them, and then killed the children because taking care of them was "such a burden", we'd call them monstrous. But when the child's disabled, oh, hey, they're a saint for even allowing the child to exist at all! Too bad it got so tough, totally understandable that they resorted to murder! Nobody asks whether the child wanted to live. Nobody asks what it was like to know your parents thought so little of your worth that they decided to kill you--the fear, the pain, the betrayal. Oh, no, they just talk about how hard it is to raise a disabled child. Shortened life expectancy is no excuse, either. Say those kids had twenty years to live--does that make it okay to, say, kill a healthy sixty-year-old? No? Then it's not okay to kill children with a disability that'll shorten their lives. If anything, a shorter life makes the time they have that much more precious.

    I want to grab that reporter, shake them, and give them a piece of my mind. People who kill children--especially their own, disabled, children--should not be excused like that.
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  9. #9
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    I suspect that the "minor injuries" are likely from self harm.
    Last edited by Supernovae; 04-23-2014 at 06:05 PM. Reason: poor grammar.

  10. #10
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    If the four-year old was diagnosed while she was pregnant, then it more than likely was SMA Type I. And unless one elects to have the children placed on ventilators, the condition is usually fatal before they are school aged. I've cared for children with this condition, and some families elect to not treat, letting the disease run its course and keep the child comfortable with hospice care only.
    Other families elect to aggressively treat, and the child eventually becomes completely paralyzed, unable to breath or even blink.
    I have cared for children in both scenarios in the home care environment. I will not comment about the quality of life in either case.

    NOT excusing her conduct, just offering some information from my perspective.
    Last edited by meanmaryjean; 04-23-2014 at 06:51 PM.
    Six-year-old Shannon Sherrill disappeared from her front yard in Thorntown, Indiana in October, 1986. Someone knows where she is......

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  11. #11
    Whether they choose a ventilator or not is a health-care decision that depends on the situation. I think it's a perfectly reasonable step to take when someone needs one. On the other hand, sometimes it's not wanted. Personal, individual decision.

    It might look intimidating to someone who isn't used to it, but then, so would computers, cars, and all the other technology we use in our daily lives, if we weren't so familiar with them. To someone with the actual disability, a ventilator can be as normal as an automobile. And nowadays, there are communication options even with total paralysis--for example, biofeedback based on brain waves, eye gaze tracking, etc.

    You probably know all that, having worked in that area. I want to work as a rehabilitation engineer when I get my degree, so I'm rather interested in that sort of tech. The previous disability services director at my school used a ventilator and wheelchair... he seemed fine with it. I've read some studies on subjective quality of life in people with locked-in syndrome (total paralysis), and they report a surprisingly high level of life satisfaction.

    But the choice about whether to use a ventilator or not in cases like that, is very different from choosing whether or not to murder a child. When deciding for or against a ventilator, you're trying to figure out whether the child will be happy lugging another machine around. But a murderer is deliberately ending any chance at happiness that a child could ever have.

    Worse, at least according to the reporter who wrote the article, the focus seemed to have been on how expensive it was to adapt the house and how much of a hassle it was for the parents. They had plenty of money--they even had nannies for the kids! Personally, I think this is yet another case of a parent deciding that their children are defective and deciding to get rid of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernovae View Post
    I suspect that the "minor injuries" are likely from self harm.
    Probably. I can pretend, though.
    Autism Memorial: Remembering Autistic Crime Victims

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supernovae View Post
    All three children are understood to have had a life limiting genetic condition. Their mother has been arrested for murder. An older child was unharmed.


    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime...n-9276884.html
    The writers put the word murder in quotations. "Murder" Like maybe it didn't really happen or like we the public are supposed to take the word murder with a grain of salt because, after all, the children were disabled. Sadly, the "murderer" will have legions of supporters who believe we can just do away with disabled children, especially if the "murderer" is their mother. Gag me.

  13. #13
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    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news...ectid=11243515

    The family received support from social services but last night friends raised questions about the level of help. Mrs Clarence had told friends that the attitude of her local authority, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, was "judgemental" and officials had taken the attitude that she should "get on with it and pull herself together."

    "Her life consisted of keeping very complex medical records and administering treatment on an hourly basis," said the source. "Because of their condition, [the children] were not sleeping very well and there was a lot of unrest all the time. She was coping incredibly well brilliantly. She was very level-headed and very together."

    It was suggested to Mrs Clarence that she should seek full-time residential care for the children but she told an acquaintance: "There's no way I can do that, I will see it through."
    IMO

  14. #14
    Hmm... The threat of losing custody in some way seems to be a trigger for parents who kill children, whether they're going to an assisted living facility or to the other parent. I've collected multiple cases where the parent killed the child just before the child was going to leave. In other cases, the parent brought the child home from residential care or begged for visitation just so that they could kill the child--murders that took place days or even hours after they got their hands on the child again.

    It gives me the impression that these parents think they "own" their children, somehow, and that if they can't have them, then nobody else is allowed to have them either.
    Autism Memorial: Remembering Autistic Crime Victims

    New information for the Autism Memorial is always appreciated.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanmaryjean View Post
    If the four-year old was diagnosed while she was pregnant, then it more than likely was SMA Type I. And unless one elects to have the children placed on ventilators, the condition is usually fatal before they are school aged. I've cared for children with this condition, and some families elect to not treat, letting the disease run its course and keep the child comfortable with hospice care only.
    Other families elect to aggressively treat, and the child eventually becomes completely paralyzed, unable to breath or even blink.
    I have cared for children in both scenarios in the home care environment. I will not comment about the quality of life in either case.

    NOT excusing her conduct, just offering some information from my perspective.
    From what I've read, the four year old was diagnosed aged two when the mother was pregnant with the twins.

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