Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 16:57 UK

Daughters killed 'as they slept'

Rekha Kumari-Baker
Rekha Kumari-Baker denies murdering her two daughters

A mother accused of murdering her two daughters at their Cambridgeshire home told a special constable: "I have killed the kids", a court has heard.

Rekha Kumari-Baker, 41, of Stretham, denies murdering Davina Baker, 16, and Jasmine Baker, 13, on 13 June 2007.

Cambridge Crown Court was told Ms Kumari-Baker killed the girls as they slept at home.

The judge, Mr Justice Bean, said the defence would argue she had "diminished responsibility" for the killings.

He said they would claim she was suffering from a "serious abnormality of mind" when the offences occurred.

I've done something terrible Natalie. Please call me
Rekha Kumari-Baker's answer-phone message

Prosecutor John Farmer told the jury that Davina was stabbed 39 times in a "frenzied" attack.

Ms Kumari-Baker, a hotel worker, then attacked her younger daughter in similar fashion, he said.

Mr Farmer told the court that, after killing the children, she got dressed and twice went out in her car before ringing a friend to say: "I have done something terrible."

The court heard there was "much contention" between the defendant and her ex-husband over the care and custody of their children.

Jurors were told one theory was that Ms Kumari-Baker wanted to "wreak havoc" on her ex-husband by killing the girls.

Davina Baker, 16, and her sister Jasmine Baker, 13
Davina and Jasmine were said to be sleeping when they were killed

Mr Farmer told jurors Ms Kumari-Baker bought the knife she used to kill her children at an Asda supermarket in Cambridge on 11 June 2007.

He said she had woken early on 13 June and then gone to the girls' bedrooms and murdered them.

After killing the girls, she got dressed, got into her car and drove towards nearby Ely, the prosecutor said.

Ms Kumari-Baker then returned to her home, "showered and cleaned herself up" then went out in her car again, he added.

Shortly before 0630 BST she telephoned a friend and special police constable Natalie Barford and left an answer-phone message saying: "I've done something terrible Natalie. Please call me."

Ms Barford went to the defendant's home and she was arrested.

Confession note

Mr Farmer said the breakdown of Ms Kumari-Baker's relationship with her partner, Jeff Powell, may have acted as a trigger for the attack.

"The end of the affair was a trigger to put into motion the mindset that was going to lead her to murdering her daughters."

He added that the defendant was "concerned" that her children were spending time with her ex-husband's new girlfriend Kadi Kone.

A note found at the home of the hotel worker following the discovery of the bodies, and signed "Rekha", read: "Sorry doesn't mean anything now.

"I've killed my two daughters. I did not want them to get hurt like I did.

"Jeff hurt me so much I cannot explain. He found it difficult to compromise at times but I loved him so much.

"My kids will not be a burden with anyone any more."

The case continues.

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BBC East's Sally Chidzoy was in court



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