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The BBC's Richard Wells reports
"Sally Clark left to begin her sentence"
 real 28k

Friday, 26 November, 1999, 15:08 GMT
Mother given life for baby murders
Sally and Stephen Clark said they would fight the conviction

Solicitor Sally Clark, who was convicted for murdering her two baby boys, has been given two concurrent life sentences.

Clark, who was sentenced at Chester Crown Court, was found guilty earlier this month of murdering 11-week-old Christopher on 13 December 1996 and eight-week-old Harry on 26 January 1998.

The 35-year-old mother was convicted by a 10 to two majority verdict, but continued to deny the charges. She and her husband Stephen vowed to lodge an appeal to free her from jail.

After the trial, Mr Clark said in a statement: "During both their short lives my wife was a caring, devoted mother to our sons. They were not murdered and she is innocent."

Sally Clark: Denied the charges
Clark's claims that she discovered the lifeless bodies of her babies at her home - one in a bouncing chair and the other in a baby basket - were rejected.

The chances of the children both suffering cot deaths were one in 73 million, the court was told.

Robin Spencer QC, prosecuting, told the jury during the 18-day trial that the babies died "at their mother's hand" on both occasions in the upstairs bedroom of their cottage.

Clark, who was suffering from alcoholism and depression, had reached the end of her tether, he told the court.

He said the allegations "strike at the very core of everything natural and wholesome in the relationship between mother and child".

Clark, who has since had a third child now aged one, told the court during the trial she felt "complete disbelief" at losing two children.

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See also:
09 Nov 99 |  UK
Baby killer was 'lonely drunk'
09 Nov 99 |  Health
Verdict reawakens cot death debate
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