Mother jailed for killing teen daughters

Tue Sep 22, 8:07 AM

LONDON (AFP) - An Indian-born woman who murdered her two teenage daughters with kitchen knives while they slept was jailed for 33 years by a court on Tuesday

Hotel waitress Rekha Kumari-Baker stabbed 16-year-old Davina 37 times, and 13-year-old Jasmine 29 times in the early hours of June 13, 2007, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

The 41-year-old, whose former husband, David Baker, accused her of "calculated viciousness" by killing their daughters to hurt him, had bought the knives at a local supermarket two days before the attack.

Kumari-Baker was unhappy about a new relationship her husband had started, and upset after breaking up with a boyfriend. Prosecutors alleged that she killed her daughters to "wreak havoc" on her former husband.

On the night of the killings she took them on a late-night shopping trip to make sure they were tired and less likely to resist, the court was told.

She woke at around 3:00 am, first killing Davina, then Jasmine. The elder daughter is believed to have tried to fight back -- her body was found kneeling by her bed -- while Jasmine's body was found in bed.

After the attack she went out for a drive, before returning home and calling a friend, whom she told: "I've killed the kids."

"In 25 years in the police service I have never before investigated such an upsetting or sickening crime," said police detective inspector Jim McCrorie, telling jurors of the "horror" when the girls' bodies were discovered.

Her former husband said he found it difficult to describe the pain the killings caused him.

"Having them taken away from me in such a brutal way and by the woman who was their mother... has had an incalculable effect," he said in a statement.

He added: "I am haunted by the horror of the events of that night and probably will remain so for a very long time."

Kumari-Baker admitted killing her daughters at their home in Stretham, but denied murdering them on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

But jurors took just 35 minutes on Monday to find her guilty of murder.

Kumari-Baker has already spent more than two years in jail, but was ordered to remain behind bars until at least 2040, when she will be 72.