Claire Colebourn: Mother who drowned daughter, 3, in bath jailed for 18 years

A mother who drowned her three-year-old daughter in the bath has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

Claire Colebourn, 36, killed her child Bethan at their home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, before making multiple suicide attempts.

The former science teacher had hit “rock bottom” after her husband Michael ended their 16-year-relationship, her trial at Winchester Crown Court heard.

Colebourn, who was found guilty of murder on Friday, admitted killing Bethan but said she only wanted to “save” and “protect” her from her father Michael.

In a letter intercepted at a hospital where she was staying, she wrote: “In my eyes I saved her, everything over those days is a blur.”

Colebourn and her husband had separated just over a month before Bethan’s death.

The killer woke Bethan in the early hours of 19 October 2017 and held her body under the water.

Colebourn was discovered by her mother in a diabetic coma 14 hours later after she tried to take her own life.

The ex-sixth former biology teacher had planned to drown her daughter and even set an alarm to “carry out the act”.

She also altered her will the day after the killing, the court heard.

Colebourn initially denied all memory of the drowning during her eight-day trial.

But she later recalled how Bethan had agreed to have a bath in the middle of the night at her mother’s instruction, telling police: “Sadly, my little girl trusted me completely.”

Mrs Justice Johannah Cutts said during sentencing: “She (Bethan) was clearly a beautiful little girl who was full of life.

“She had everything to live for.

“You were her mother, you were responsible for her care and her well-being.”

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, had told the court Colebourn’s marriage had been difficult and she had made “unfounded accusations” her husband was having an affair with his company’s finance director.

Mr Colebourn is the chief executive of luxury marine interior company Trimline.

The lawyer said Colebourn also became worried, without foundation, that Mr Colebourn was monitoring her computer and arranged for an IT firm to supply her with a new laptop and wifi at her home.

She said that within minutes of receiving the new computer in October 2017, she began searching for suicide-related websites.

Miss Maylin said that following her arrest, she told medical staff she had tried to kill herself the previous day.

The prosecutor said a doctor described how she was “only emotional when discussing the fact Michael Colebourn had left her and her daughter and her father had done the same to her mother”.

Source: Read Full Article