Mum 'killed children, 7 and 11, because she didn't want husband to have them' (2024)

A mum who suspected her husband of having an affair killed her two children because she didn’t want him to gain custody of them, a jury has been told.

Veronique John, 50, allegedly stabbed her son Ethan, 11, more than 20 times and inflicted brain damage on her seven-year-old daughter Elizabeth before finding her husband Nathan at a car wash and stabbing him in the stomach.

She then reportedly returned to her home in Stoke-on-Trent, called 999 and said ‘I am calling to report I just killed my two kids’ on June 11 of last year.

A trial-of-facts hearing is currently underway at Nottingham crown court because John has been found to be ‘under a disability’ and ‘unable to participate in the trial in any meaningful sense’, judge Mr Justice Choudhury explained to the jury.

John, a charity shop worker, allegedly told police when they arrived at her home: ‘If you have a gun shoot me. I am not a monster – he was going to take them from me.’

She’s also accused of telling interviewing officers later on: ‘I didn’t want my husband to get them.

‘It’s something I was thinking about for a long time – just kill myself and the kids. Unless you guys are offering me the death penalty I have nothing else to say.

‘I did it because I love my children – to protect the children. If there’s any possible way I could be put to death, I would like that. I mean it 100%.’

John was born on the Caribbean island of St Vincent and prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said she had searched online ‘Can a foreigner be charged with murder in the UK?’ just hours before she killed her children.

Mr Grieves-Smith said her ‘rage was boiling just under the surface’ a day after she had been arrested for assaulting her husband with a piece of wood.

John and her husband had experienced serious relationship difficulties, with her not wanting him to have an internet-enabled phone.

Two days before the attacks, the jury was told John became angry and hit her husband with a wooden slat while their children were getting ready for bed.

Mr John made a complaint to police, who arrested John at her home on June 10 and interviewed her under caution, opting to issue her with a community resolution notice.

Shortly after 2pm on June 11, John went to the car wash where her husband had stayed the night and stabbed him in the stomach, the court heard.

Recounting what Mr John said in a subsequent 999 call, Mr Grieves-Smith said: ‘My wife just came to the car wash and stabbed me – she said that she had just killed the kids.’

Mr Grieves-Smith added: “What happened on the 11th of June didn’t come out of the blue. Tension grew in the days before. That day she just erupted, killed her children and attacked Nathan.’

Ethan was pronounced dead after being found in a bedroom with a 17cm-long neck wound, while Elizabeth was discovered in the living room, having suffered head trauma and ‘three areas of sharp force’ injury, including to her stomach.

A few minutes before John walked to the car wash, the jury was told a neighbour heard ‘high-pitched screaming and crying that lasted for a little while’.

John, of Flax Street, Stoke, is charged with two counts of murder, attempted murder and an alternative count of wounding, but has been ruled unfit to plead.

The 50-year-old, who is being treated at a secure hospital, was not in the dock to hear the Crown’s opening speech.

Judge Justice Choudhury told the jury: ‘This trial is slightly unusual – the defendant has been found to be under a disability.

‘She is unable to participate in the trial in any meaningful sense.

‘Your task is to decide whether the defendant did the acts of unlawfully inflicting injuries on and killing Ethan and Elizabeth which led to their deaths, and unlawfully inflicting injuries to Mr John.’

The trial continues.

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Mum 'killed children, 7 and 11, because she didn't want husband to have them' (2024)

FAQs

How can I help the parents of murdered children? ›

Connect with a National Organization—Organizations such as National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc., The Compassionate Friends: Supporting Family After a Child Dies, and C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors), M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) can support loved ones after a homicide.

How many parents are killed by their children? ›

On the average, about five parents are killed by their biological children in the United States every week. Matricide and patricide are both very rare events when considered in terms of the thousands of individuals arrested every year for murder.

What is homicide death? ›

Homicide is an act in which a human causes the death of another human. A homicide requires only a volitional act or an omission that causes the death of another, and thus a homicide may result from accidental, reckless, or negligent acts even if there is no intent to cause harm.

What happened to Saiqa Akhter? ›

A woman from North Texas who was accused of strangling her two special-needs children because she wanted 'normal kids' has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. Saiqa Akhter must remain at a state mental hospital for treatment unless a judge approves her discharge.

What to say when someone is murdered? ›

Tell survivors that you are sorry the murder happened and that it is horrible that someone killed their loved one. Support survivors in their efforts to reconstruct a life, even if it means a major change in the lifestyle, or work, or place of residence.

What is the act of killing one's parents? ›

Parricide or parenticide – the killing of one's mother, father, or other close relative. Patricide – the act of killing of one's father (Latin: pater "father").

What is the lowest form of homicide? ›

First-degree murders are the most serious and punished accordingly, involving premeditated murder and intentional murder. Second-degree murders are the next step down but still involve intent to harm or to kill. Third-degree murders are the lowest level of criminal homicide but can still result in serious sentences.

What is femicide meaning? ›

General definition

Killing of women and girls because of their gender, which can take the form of, inter alia: the murder of women as a result of intimate partner violence; the torture and misogynist slaying of women.

What is the leading cause of homicide? ›

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first systematic, in-depth look at murder and suicide in the United States shows that personal conflicts are the major factor in such deaths, as opposed to random violence or other crime.

What is child autism? ›

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a problem that affects a child's nervous system and growth and development. A child with ASD often has problems communicating. They may have trouble developing social skills. Genes may play a role in ASD.

What happened to Derek Rosa? ›

Derek Rosa is facing a murder charge in the Oct. 12 killing of his mother. He's being charged as an adult and is currently being held at the Metro West Detention Center. The selfie, previously released by prosecutors, shows Rosa posing with what appears to be blood on his hands.

What happened to Lindsay Clancy? ›

Clancy is being held without bail at Tewksbury Hospital. She has waived her appearance at the hearings since her September 2023 indictment. She is likely to continue doing so, as she suffered debilitating nerve damage the night of her children's deaths, Jan. 24, 2023.

How do parents deal with the death of a child? ›

Find a Support Group

Many parents find that it helps to join a support group, either as a family or alone. While it doesn't take the place of seeing a dedicated professional, groups can add another layer of support, especially if grief is making you feel isolated and lonely.

How do you accept the death of a child? ›

Acknowledge your feelings: It's essential to acknowledge your feelings and grieving process to take enough time to process them. Resist the urge to push away or ignore your emotions. Allow yourself space and time to grieve properly. You may find comfort in talking about your bereavement with friends or family members.

How do you recover from the death of a child? ›

Helping Yourself Heal When Your Child Dies
  1. Allow yourself to mourn. Your child has died. ...
  2. Realize your grief is unique. ...
  3. Allow yourself to feel numb. ...
  4. This death is “out of order” ...
  5. Expect to feel a multitude of emotions. ...
  6. Be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits. ...
  7. Talk about your grief. ...
  8. Watch out for clichés.
Dec 21, 2023

How do you approach death with children? ›

When a Loved One Dies: How to Help Your Child
  1. Use simple words to talk about death. ...
  2. Listen and comfort. ...
  3. Put feelings into words. ...
  4. Tell your child what to expect. ...
  5. Explain events that will happen. ...
  6. Give your child a role. ...
  7. Help your child remember the person. ...
  8. Give comfort and reassure your child.

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