SA woman arrested in UK after 3 children found dead

2014-04-23 15:19

A South African woman has been arrested after three young children believed to be suffering from life-limiting genetic disorders were found dead in a house in London.

The 43-year-old woman was held after the bodies of a girl aged four and two boys aged three were found in a large semidetached house in New Malden, south London, last night, the UK-based Press Association reported.

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths of the youngsters, who were pronounced dead at the scene.

Scotland Yard said the woman was taken to hospital for treatment to minor injuries before being discharged and arrested.

A neighbour, who did not wish to be identified, said the three younger children who lived at the house were suffering from genetic disorders, but an elder child, thought to be about seven or eight, was in good health.

She said the family, originally from South Africa, were “really, really lovely people” who moved into the suburb of New Malden with the children a year ago.

The parents, named locally as Tania and Gary Clarence, were “a very, very lovely couple”, the neighbour said, adding: “I saw them all the time about with their children.”

She said the father worked in the city and the mother was a full-time carer for her children.

They moved into the house after it underwent a “massive” refurbishment, including the installation of a lift.

“They are very nice people and very, very decent. She is such a lovely person – her life revolves around the children,” the neighbour said.

She said the family had a nanny and help from carers.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “A 43-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody. We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

The woman is in custody at a south London police station. The force has given no cause of death but postmortem examinations will be carried out in due course.

Police said they were trying to speak to members of the extended family to find out what happened.

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