Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 14:57 UK

Father jailed for killing children in Manchester flat

Petros Williams
Petros Williams will spend at least 28 years in prison for the murders

A father who made a farewell video of his two children before strangling them has been jailed for life after being convicted of their murders.

Petros Williams killed Yolanda Molemohi, four, and two-year-old Theo Molemohi at his flat in Whalley Range, Manchester, last October.

In the video shown to Manchester Crown Crown, Williams, 37, urged the children to say goodbye to their mother.

He has been told he will serve a minimum of 28 years in prison.

Mr Justice Parker, sentencing, said it was hard to conceive any more shocking crime.

The court was told that Zimbabwe-born Williams deliberately chose internet connection cords to choke the children to punish his wife for using dating websites after the breakdown of their marriage.

'Terrifying moments'

His wife, Morongoe Molemohi, 30, had started using the websites to see other men, the jury was told.

Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, said he killed the children as a symbolic act of punishment to his wife.

Yolanda Molemohi, four, and her brother Theo, two

Ms Molehomi discovered the bodies of her children in Williams' one-bedroom flat.

Her estranged husband was lying beside them dazed, but uninjured, next to a noose.

Ms Molehomi said in a statement after the hearing: "I will never be able to wipe the image from my mind, nor forget the terrifying desperate moments when I scrambled to help them, to call for help from others and to do what I could for them while I waited for the emergency services to arrive.

"Try to imagine the panic, the isolation and the sense of uselessness in those moments, as I realised that my most precious children needed me the most and I was unable to save them."

'Bye Mummy'

The video tape found in the flat shows the children sitting in the living room with Williams initially behind the camera before he joined them on the sofa and told them: "Say, 'bye Mummy'."

The tape was labelled, "Daddy, Yolly, Theo. Byee The End".

Senior Investigating Officer Vinny Chadwick: Petros is "a cruel, self-pitying bully"

There was a note attached which said, "Play the video, made for your memories, thank you, Petros".

Williams, who had denied two counts of murder, was found guilty by the jury after 90 minutes of deliberation.

He had tried to blame his wife for the killings, but the judge said there was "no doubt" he had intended to kill them.

"It is hard to conceive any more shocking crime than a parent deliberately taking the life of his or her child," said Mr Justice Parker.

"We saw from the video that Yolanda and Theo were happy children, full of love and laughter, with a whole lifetime ahead of them and, above all, absolute trust in their father who, for entirely selfish purposes, would end their brief lives."

The couple moved to the UK in 2002 and had lived in Whalley Road since 2004. Their marriage suffered difficulties and both had affairs, the jury was told.

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