A mother intentionally drowned her 3-year-old daughter in the bathtub after thinking her husband was having an affair, prosecutors said, according to a new report.
Claire Colebourn, 36, is currently on trial at the Winchester Crown Court in England for the death of her daughter, Bethan Colebourn, reported BBC.
In October 2017, the little girl was found unresponsive at her family home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire.
Paramedics found Bethan lying on a bed with her hair soaking wet, unresponsive. They weren’t able to revive her, prosecutor Kerry Maylin said, according to the BBC.
After investigations, police arrested Colebourn and charged her with murder.
“Bethan had been put in the bath at home and held under the water,” Maylin told the jury. “That act was completed by her mother.”
Claire Colebourn is accused of drowning her three-year-old daughter Bethan in Fordingbridge https://t.co/gaXA53oOXX
— BBC Hampshire & IoW (@BBC_Hampshire) March 7, 2019
While imprisoned, Colebourn wrote a letter to her parents, part of which read, “In my eyes, I saved her,” according to Maylin. Colebourn also allegedly told police that her daughter kept telling her she didn’t want a bath.
“She woke up…she put her hands on my cheeks, told me she loved me and said, ‘I don’t want a bath, mummy, I don’t want a bath,'” Colebourn allegedly told police.
She then drowned her daughter, the jury heard. “I wanted to fight myself but I couldn’t,” Colebourn said. “She had complete trust in me.”
Maylin then said Colebourn told friends she tried to kill herself by “hanging herself, stabbing herself in the stomach, and taking a fatal overdose of insulin.”
When asked in a police interview why she killed her daughter, Colebourn said, “Because I didn’t want her to go anywhere near her father.”
— Cruise Industry News (@CruiseIndustry) August 2, 2017
Colebourn’s mother, Janet Fildew, found the little girl’s body on Oct. 19, 2017, when she was visiting, the jury heard.
At the time, Colebourn was suffering from a diabetic episode in another bedroom, where she had injected herself with 306 units of insulin—nearly 10 times her normal dose—the prosecutor said.
Maylin said Colebourn thought her husband, Michael, was having an affair, which was never proven. Colebourn filed for divorce shortly before her daughter’s death.
Although the divorce wasn’t finalized, Michael moved out in September 2017. While giving evidence, Michael said his wife filed for divorce, claiming he wasn’t interested in raising their daughter, something he was “not happy with.”
Michael then described how they had met at university in 2001 but their relationship quickly deteriorated after their daughter’s birth and he decided to leave in September 2017.
“The relationship wasn’t working, there was a realisation that the best for both parties and for Bethran was to separate,” he said.
He said the last time he had seen his daughter was a week before her death, when his wife had reluctantly allowed him to see their daughter alone.
Michael said when he returned Bethran, “she kissed me and hugged me and went in, she was fine, she was happy.”
A woman, accused of murdering her three-year-old daughter in #Fordingbridge in #Hampshire, is due to enter a plea later. 36-year-old Claire Colebourn from Oxford is charged with drowning Bethan at a house in Whitsbury Road last October.#CapitalReports pic.twitter.com/F9PSxz2qwk
— Capital S Coast News (@CapitalSCNews) July 26, 2018
On Sept. 7, 2017, Colebourn reportedly wrote a message on Facebook, detailing how and why she thought Michael had been having an affair.
“Michael walked out on his family on 7 September and we haven’t seen him since,” she reportedly wrote on Facebook. “He has been having an affair with his financial director at work. Everything has been pre-planned. They are aiming to conquer the business and set up a new life together.”
Colebourn later changed her Wifi password, paranoid that her husband was spying on her internet activity, according to the prosecutor.
Colebourn also got a new laptop and immediately searched for suicide-related websites, according to the court testimony. She visited a site called, “How to Kill by Drowning,” and watched a YouTube video entitled, “Someone Drowns in a Tub Nearly Every Day.”
In a police interview, Colebourn said, “I can’t be a liar…I’m going to have to go against legal advice. Bethran drowned because I was there. I held her under water.”
However, Colebourn denies murder. The trial is still ongoing.
— Heart South News (@HeartSouthNews) March 6, 2019