A mother-of-six murdered her two teenage sons the day after a bid to
Sarah Barrass, along with family member Brandon Machin, strangled Tristan and Blake Barrass, aged 13 and 14, in Shiregreen, Sheffield, on (May.
The court heard how Barrass, 35, would regularly tell her children: “I gave you life, I can take it away.”
Barrass and 39 – year-old Machin are being sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court.
They have both previously admitted murder, conspiracy to murder all six of her children, including Blake and Tristan, and five counts of attempted murder.
‘Nothing but evil ‘
The court heard the pair hatched the plot to kill the children because Barrass feared they would be taken into care.
They had unsuccessfully tried to poison the four eldest the night before, by forcing them to take ADHD tablets.
Kama Melly QC, prosecuting, said: “None of the children wanted to take the tablets but were forced to do so.
“The defendants expected the tablets to kill the children overnight. “
When the tablets had not had the effect Barrass wanted, she began to search online for other ways of killing her children, including suffocation, strangulation and drowning.
The court was told Barrass then strangled Tristan with her dressing gown cord.
Machin strangled Blake with his hands afterwards.
They “then placed bin bags over their heads to ensure their certain death”, Ms
After killing Tristan and Blake, the defendants ran a bath and repeatedly tried to drown one of the younger children.
All the surviving children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are under the age of 13.
The court heard Barrass had approached the local authority to ask for help with her children.
Ms Melly said the mother sent a message to a friend in which she said: “I’ve thought of every possible solution to this mess.
“I love my kids too much to kill them, I can’t put them into care for the same reason. “
Bryan Cox QC, mitigating for Barrass, said her crimes were” evil and nothing but evil “but said she was “profoundly damaged by her childhood”.
He said: “The defendant was desperate to prevent her children being taken into care.
“She couldn’t cope with the prospect of them being removed.”
The court heard she told police she planned to kill the younger two children and herself, after the older four had died.