Canadian mother, Felicia Boots, held as U.K. police investigate kids' deaths/charged with murder of her babies.

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Normal Canadian mother, Felicia Boots, held as U.K. police investigate kids' deaths/charged with murder of her babies.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun May 13, 2012 4:03 pm

CTV News Channel: Tom Kennedy in London
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CTV's London bureau chief says the Canadian mother is being held on suspicion of murder, and explains there is widespread speculation in the British media that postnatal depression was a factor in the deaths of the two children.

Date: Fri. May. 11 2012 8:12 AM ET

Autopsies are scheduled Friday for two children found dead in a London, England home Wednesday night. Their Canadian mother, Felicia Boots, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Police have revealed little about the case, saying in a statement that a woman in her 30s was arrested Wednesday night, after they were called to an address in the posh South London neighbourhood of Wandsworth.

"The London Ambulance Service also attended but a 10-week-old boy and a 14-month-old girl were pronounced dead at the scene," Scotland Yard said in the statement.

"Post-mortem examinations will take place in due course."

Watching developments in the British capital, CTV's London Bureau Chief Tom Kennedy said local media are reporting the children were found without any marks on their bodies and may have been smothered to death.

"Post-natal depression is being speculated about, but police are saying very little about what is an absolutely terrible case," Kennedy told CTV's Canada AM Friday morning.

British tabloids have seized on the story, reporting that Boots had tried to kill herself before she was arrested.

Kennedy said Boots did not require hospitalization, but given the circumstances it is likely she is now "under very, very close watch and supervision."

Boot's investment banker husband Jeffrey reportedly arrived at the family's home Wednesday night to find his children dead.

Neighbours said they heard the man, whose family had only recently moved into the neighbourhood dubbed "Nappy Valley" for its popularity among young middle-class families, sobbing as he waited for police and paramedics to arrive.

Two hours after they got to the Boots' Killarney Road address, police took Felicia Boots away in handcuffs.

Forensic investigators have since removed several bags of potential evidence from the home, including children's clothing, documents and an Apple computer box.

The couple, both 34 years old, had moved to England from Canada.

While in London, the mother operated a home-based, handmade jewelry design business through a website called Pink Tangerine.

On her website, Boots describes herself as a Canadian-born stylist "pursuing a dream."

Writing on the business website's blog, Boots said, "I once read that 'only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly'.

"I hope to achieve greatly."

Among the undated testimonials posted on the same website, Stephanie Ledda, assistant product manager at Wella Canada wrote, "Felicia's carefree and outgoing attitude is something I have always admired."

In a statement, Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs said Canadian officials have been in contact with British authorities concerning the death of the children and their mother's detention.

London police said they are not looking for any other suspects in connection with the children's deaths.

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Last edited by Wrapitup on Sun May 13, 2012 4:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Normal Felicia Boots, Canadian woman in London charged with murder of her babies

Post by Wrapitup on Sun May 13, 2012 4:08 pm

Armina Ligaya, National Post Staff May 12, 2012 – 1:41 PM ET | Last Updated: May 12, 2012 2:40 PM ET

LONDON — British police say a Canadian woman, charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of her two babies, has been remanded in custody until Tuesday.

Jewelry designer Felicia Boots was charged with the murder of her children, 10-week-old son Mason and his 14-month-old sister Lily, at their home in southwest London earlier this week.

Boots appeared at the South Western Magistrates’ Court today, where she was remanded until May 15.

The 34-year-old will return to court, at the Old Bailey, on the same day.

Ms. Boots was arrested Wednesday night after her husband Jeff Boots, an investment banker from Canada, discovered the bodies of their children at their luxurious home in south London.

Post-mortem examinations on the two children were conducted at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“No formal cause of death was given. We await the outcome of further tests,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.

Canadian mother arrested after father finds their babies dead in $2M London home

A friend of Ms. Boots said the 34-year-old Canadian mother had been having difficulties since her first child was born in March last year.

“She was normally so cheerful and bubbly, but was in a really bad way after her child was born,” the unnamed friend told The Daily Telegraph.

“She was back and forth to doctors all the time. She came to see me a few months later with Lily and told me she had been really bad and really ill with post-natal depression.”

Mr. Boots, who had worked for Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada, his wife and their children had recently moved into their £1.2-million ($1.94-million) home in Wandsworth, a tony area of London dubbed “Nappy Valley” because of the number of affluent young families living here.

Howard Jones, a former neighbour, said he suspected the young mother was struggling when he saw her about two weeks ago. He thought the pressure of moving into a new house soon after the birth of her second child had been “just too much.”

“She didn’t look happy. She wasn’t her normal self by any means,” he said. “You could tell by her eyes.”

There were reports Ms. Boots had tried to kill herself by cutting her wrists, but sources say she had no injuries and did not need medical attention.

The woman, who started her own jewellery company after the couple moved to Britain a few years ago, appeared “placid” when police escorted her from her home, a neighbour said.

“She was very calm,” Oliver Jones said. “She walked to the police car. She was not in handcuffs.”

Two hours earlier, her husband had sounded the alarm as he cried out in anguish outside the house before police and emergency workers arrived.

“I heard him, he was obviously upset, it was not really sobbing, but I don’t want to say what I heard,” said one neighbour.

“It was just after 7 p.m. and the man I heard had a North American accent. I had never seen the mother as they had only just moved in.”

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Normal Re: Canadian mother, Felicia Boots, held as U.K. police investigate kids' deaths/charged with murder of her babies.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun May 13, 2012 4:11 pm

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Normal Felicia Boots Smothered Her 9 Week Old Son Mason And His 14 Month Old Sister Lily After Rejecting Anti-Depressants

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri May 31, 2013 2:35 am

October 30, 2012

A mother who was suffering from severe post natal depression killed her two babies after stopping her medication because she was worried about its side effects while breast feeding.

Felicia Boots, 35, suffocated 9-week-old Mason and 14-month-old Lily-Skye just two weeks after the family, who are originally from Canada moved into a new £1.4 million home in south west London.

Her husband Jeffrey, a banker, discovered the bodies of the two children side by side on the floor of a walk-in wardrobe after returning home from work in May.

Today at the Old Bailey, Mrs Boots pleaded not guilty to murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mrs Boots, a jewellery designer, was dressed in a black suit and white blouse and wept as she was asked to stand to enter pleas on the two charges.

Her voice shook as she replied in a Canadian-accent: "Not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter because of diminished responsibility."

Boots looked down and read from a piece of paper as she was asked to enter a plea to the second murder charge.

Giving the same answer, she wiped away tears with a handkerchief and sat down.

The judge in the case Mr Justice Fulford described her as a loving mother who has been suffering from a depressive disorder and whose judgement "was simply not functioning".

Describing it as a tragic case he said a prison sentence was not appropriate and ordered that she be detained at a secure mental health unit.

Mr Justice Fulford said: "This is an almost indescribably sad case.

"Although the roots of Mrs Boots' actions were profoundly tragic given the lost of two such young lives, what occurred was not as a result of what most people would regard as criminal activity.

"I unreservedly accept that what the defendant did to the two children she and her husband loved and nurtured, was solely the result of psychological and bio-physiological forces that were beyond her control.

"This case is the polar opposite of the appalling incidents of children neglect and cruelty that sometimes come before the courts."

On the morning of the tragedy Mrs Boots had become "fixated and deluded" that her children were going to be taken away, the judge said.

The court heard how she had suffered post natal depression following the birth of her first child, Lily-Skye in March 2011.

She was prescribed anti-depressants and had begun to feel much better, the court heard.

But when she became pregnant with her son she became concerned about the effects the medication might have on him.

The court heard how Mrs Boots had stopped taking her medication because she was breast feeding and she was "irrationally worried about the consequences for him".

Edward Brown QC, prosecuting said: "There is consistent evidence that Mrs Boots may have stopped taking the medication in the weeks, or days before the day in question, although to a degree she may have hidden this fact from others."

She made an attempt on her own life after killing her children.

Mrs Boots' husband was in court and submitted a statement to the court in support of her.

In a statement read out to the court, Mrs Boots said: "May 9 2012 is a day I will be eternally sorry for it should never have happened and troubles me deeper than anyone will ever know.

"Part of me will always be missing but just know that I am a good person. I was a good mum and I never meant this to happen. I am truly sorry."

Mrs Boots was later detained under the Mental Health Act, 1983, after pleading guilty to two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Justice Fulford made the under section 37 of the act but did not make a restriction order - under sec 41 - which means she could be freed as soon as her condition improves.

The court heard Mr and Mrs Boots married in August 2007 and came to the UK from Canada in 2008.

"The relationship was a good one. There was no problem and it was a happy family, comfortably well off," said Mr Brown.

The couple had recently moved to the address in Wandsworth and some of their belongings was still in packing cases.

Friends of Mrs Boots said she had been left 'mentally crushed' after the failure of a previous relationship in Canada. Her brother committed suicide four years ago.

After the birth of Lily-Skye on March 1 last year, she was diagnosed with moderately severe depression.

Her medication was increased and by the time she fell pregnant with Mason in the late summer she had recovered.

"Reports to her psychiatrist showed she was feeling improved and was feeling happy and positive about the prospect of a second child," said Mr Brown.

"She decided to stop taking her medication. There was some reservation from the doctor but as she was so improved there was no significant concern."

Mrs Boots said was worried about the effect the medication would have on her child both during pregnancy and later when breastfeeding.

She was told the medication was harmless but computer records show she was making a series of Google searches about her concerns in the weeks before the killings.

After Mason was born on February 28 this year friends and family began to become concerned that she was suffering from postnatal depression.

"She told someone the medication might affect the unborn child. She said she stopped taking the medicine without telling anyone," said Mr Brown.

Mrs Boots also confided in her husband in early April that she was feeling unwell.

On April 12 she was prescribed antidepressants for the next 28 days, which would have lasted until May 11.

Examination of the pack revealed the pills for the days leading up to May 9 had been removed but Mr Brown said "the findings might be consistent with Mrs Boots deciding to hide the fact she had not taken medication."

Her parents-in-law visited the house in the days before the killing and noticed that she was finding it increasingly difficult to carry out basic tasks.

On May 9 she was outwardly appearing better and texted a photo of Lily to her husband who was at work.

But when Mr Boots arrived home at 7.25pm he found the house in darkness and his wife sitting on the stairs hugging herself.

She told him not to go upstairs but he ran up to find his two children lying on the floor of a walk-in cupboard.

When police arrived she told them she had stopped taking her anti-depressants two weeks earlier and said repeatedly: "I don't know why I did it."

Boots, who appeared weak and unsteady on her feet, later explained that the killing took place at 2pm.

She had marks on her neck which suggested she had attempted to take her own life.

Her distressed husband made a comment that his wife was a good mother and he could not believe she had done such a thing.

Police found a handwritten note left near the bodies of the children, in which Mrs Boots questioned how she could have done it.

"She stated she was scared and so sorry and wanted to take her own life. She said she had started to fall apart a few weeks before," said Mr Brown.

Reports from three psychiatrists all concluded she was suffering from a depressive illness which diminished her responsibility.

"She knew what she had done but did not understand why she had done it," said one doctor, the court heard.

Mr Brown said: "This plainly is a tragic case. The Crown has closely examined the expert medical evidence and the authors of the reports are clear and agreed in their conclusions as to Mrs Boots' condition as to the 9th of May this year and the reasons for her actions. Therefore it is not in the public interest to pursue the counts of murder."

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Normal : Judge Refers To The Murder Of Felicia Boots' Children As An 'Indescribably Sad Case'

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri May 31, 2013 2:41 am

Oct 30, 2012

This is an almost indescribably sad case. Although the result of Mrs Boots’ actions were profoundly tragic given the loss of two such young lives, what occurred was not what most people would recognize as criminal activity.

I unreservedly accept that what the defendant did to the two children, she and her husband so loved and nurtured, was solely the result of psychiatric and bio-physiological factors that were truly beyond her control.

This case is the polar opposite of some of the appalling cases of child neglect and cruelty that sometimes come before our courts.

It is of note that Mrs Boot’s brother had a history of depression that led to his suicide at the age of 29.

Mrs Boots suffered from serious post natal depression following the birth of her first child, Lily.

There is no suggestion that her relationship with her first child was anything other than loving and caring.

This is someone who delighted in being a mother and by all accounts was very good at it.

The second child was born soon afterwards and she descended into anxiety, depression and self doubt which increased in its intensity and debilitations and the level of paranoia increased.

She became withdrawn, although I expect the real extent of her mental state was partly hidden from her husband and immediate family.

Mrs Boots simply stopped taking her medication because she was breast feeding and she was irrationally worried about the consequences for him. (her son)

On the morning of this tragedy she became fixated and deluded that her children were to be taken away and she decided I am sure to end her own life. She killed her children and she attempted suicide.

This is someone who suffered from a depressive disorder or illness. It is well known that women with this condition may represent a significant harm to children.

Given the extent to which her judgements were deluded. In the words of her doctor, "She knows what she did, but she can’t understand why." Her judgment was simply not functioning.

A prison sentence would be hugely inappropriate in this case. It would serve no useful purpose. Given that these are not offences that call for punishment you are not to be dealt with by a term of custody. I am persuaded that the mental disorder is of a nature that makes it appropriate for her to be detained in a hospital.


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