The depressed mother was overwhelmed by the enormous challenge of caring for her three disabled children before she smothered them in their sleep and attempted suicide, a senior judge has said.
The children, who suffered from the muscle-weakening condition multiple system atrophy type 2, were found dead in their beds.
Days before the killings, Clarence’s husband had taken their eight-year-old daughter, who is not disabled, on a holiday to South Africa – leaving the defendant alone with her other children. She had given the nanny a day off.
Sentencing Clarence to a hospital order on Tuesday, Mr Justice Sweeney said there was clear and convincing evidence that she had been experiencing a major depressive episode.
He said the mother of four had become overwhelmed by the enormous challenge of coping with her children and witnessing medical interventions and procedures she thought unnecessary.
Imposing the order, Sweeney told Clarence she would not be released until she had recovered from her illness.
Clarence’s husband, Gary, an investment banker, supported his wife throughout what his solicitor described as “one of the saddest” cases to come before the criminal courts. In a statement on behalf of the family, Richard Egan said: “The Clarence family, and in particular Tania Clarence, dedicated their lives to the care and welfare of their three severely disabled children.