Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 19:16 UK

Murder accused 'wished for havoc'

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

The father of two teenage girls allegedly murdered by the man's ex-wife has told a jury there was "friction" between her and his new girlfriend.

Rekha Kumari-Baker, 41, denies murdering 16-year-old Davina Baker and Jasmine Baker, 13, at her home in Stretham, Cambridgeshire, in June 2007.

Prosecutors at Cambridge Crown Court have said she wanted to "wreak havoc" on her ex-husband David Baker.

The jury heard she is mounting a defence of diminished responsibility.

It is expected she will argue that she was suffering from an abnormality of mind which would make her guilty of manslaughter but not murder, the court heard.

Disputes over children

Giving evidence, Mr Baker said relations with his ex-wife soured when he began dating his then girlfriend, Kadi Kone.

"She did not like Kadi," said Mr Baker, who divorced the defendant in 2004. "There was a lot of friction between them."

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

The court had previously heard there had been disputes over the children following the split and that Ms Kumari-Baker was concerned about the amount of time the children spent with Mr Baker's new partner.

Speaking about the last time he had seen his children, he said he had laughed with Davina about her uniform for her new job at Pizza Hut.

He said Jasmine had "come bounding upstairs the way she always did" and the girls then accompanied their mother on a trip to Lakeside shopping centre, a trip which the prosecution allege was to ensure the girls stay the night at Ms Kumari-Baker's home.

Davina usually spent weeknights at her father's house after Ms Kumari-Baker had "thrown her out", the court heard.

'Quiet and intellectual'

Mr Baker said that despite living apart the girls "got on together fantastically". "They had very different personalities," he said.

"Davina was feisty, outgoing and an extrovert. Jasmine was quiet and intellectual and sometimes lived in her sister's shadow."

Businessman Jeff Powell, who was in a relationship with the defendant after her marriage ended, told the jury she had been a "good mother".

He said her behaviour had become "oppressive" when he tried to end things between them shortly before the girls' deaths.

The court also heard from a police officer who was the first to go to Ms Kumari-Baker's home after the stabbings.

Det Sgt Jennifer Johnstone said the scene was all she could think about for a "considerable amount of time".

"She (Ms Kumari-Baker) was very calm, she was not upset, she was not crying and she was very quiet," she added.

The trial continues.



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