South African woman arrested in London on suspicion of murder of three children

By Kirstin Buick
23 April 2014

A 43-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three disabled children with were found dead in a large detached house in a London suburb.

A 43-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three disabled children with  were found dead in a large detached house in a London suburb.

A police officer stands near floral tributes placed in the drive of the house in New Malden

The upmarket property in New Malden, south London, has been sealed off with forensics officers, removing bags of evidence through the night.

Police were called to the £1,2million (R21,3 million) home at 9.30 last night where they found the bodies of a 4-year-old girl and three-year-old twin boys.

The woman was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries, before being discharged and arrested.

According to the Daily Mail, neighbours said that the South African couple -- named by the article as Tania and Gary Clarence -- had four children, but three were unwell and required the full-time care of their mother.

Neighbours told the Daily Mail that the little girl was confined to a wheelchair. The twin boys suffered from a 'life limiting' genetic condition which meant they could not talk or stand.

The family had moved in around a year ago after a major refurbishment, which included a lift for the children.

Gary Clarence, and investment banker, is believed to have been in South Africa with the couple's eldest daughter (8) who is not disabled.

The Mirror reports a neighbour said she met the couple two weeks ago at a braai in the neighbourhood. "They were very friendly," she said. "He played golf and he had been playing golf that morning." Another neighbour, retired nurse Joy Devis (86) said the news was a "huge surprise and shock". She knew the family and had been in the house once or twice to see the family's lift. "They are a delightful couple, they seemed to be very happy," she said. "Their children were super, lovely children. They were very happy, there was a very nice atmosphere there." Reportedly the couple moved to the UK around 12 years ago.

- Kirstin Buick & Wilmer Muller

Sources: Sapa/Daily Mail/The Mirror

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