Jewellery designer Felicia Boots, 34 who smothered her ten week old son Mason, and 14 month old daughter Lily Skye at home in Wandsworth.
31 October 2012
A family friend of a mother who strangled her two children in London’s “Nappy Valley” today said her life had been filled with sadness.
Jewellery designer Felicia Boots, 35, who had been suffering extreme post-natal depression, has been sent to a psychiatric hospital after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of her mental illness.
Her husband Jeff, an investment banker, discovered the bodies of his children when he returned to the family’s five-bedroom, £1.2 million Wandsworth home in May.
Canadian Boots had strangled 10-week-old Mason and 14-month-old Lily Skye with a cord before trying to kill herself after suffering a paranoid delusion that they were going to be taken into care.
Today family friend George McRae, who lives near Boots’ parents Dave and Debbie Sinclair in Ontario, Canada, said it was tragic nothing had been done to help her.
“Something should have been done to help her sooner. You notice things about people, you know something is wrong,” he added.
“We are very sorry for the loss that they have suffered and look to God for guidance, help and compassion.
“I’m sure the community will pull together around them when they get home.”
The 76-year-old, who runs a refrigerator business, described the Sinclairs as devout Jehovah’s Witnesses and said they had been travelling frequently to London to support their daughter.
He also told how Boots’ brother Scott Sinclair had committed suicide four years ago.
He said Boots had branded the act “selfish” at the time telling them: “Now my kids will never know their uncle.”
Mr Sinclair is said to have hanged himself after moving to Toronto and abandoning his religion.
Mr McRae continued: “Felicia told us that he had killed himself. She said he didn’t like having this religion jammed down his throat.”
He added that Mr Sinclair had also suffered from depression and was on medication before his death.
Boots had also had to deal with the break-down of her first marriage to Dale Morgan.
The couple tied the knot while she was still a teenager and it did not last long, but she was reportedly devastated after the split.
Their subsequent divorce and rejection of her faith also created problems between her and her parents.
At the Old Bailey yesterday, Mr Justice Fulford described the case as “almost indescribably sad”.
He added: “Although the results of Mrs Boots’ action were profoundly tragic, given such a loss of two young lives, what occurred was not what most people would recognise as criminal activity.
“I unreservedly accept what the defendant did to the two young children she and her husband so loved and nurtured was solely the result of psychiatric and bio-physiological factors that were truly beyond her control.”
In a heart-rending statement read to the court, Boots said: “I am eternally sorry. It should never have happened.
“I am troubled more than anyone will ever know. I am a good mum and never meant this to happen and I am truly sorry.”
Prosecutor Ed Brown QC said doctors had unanimously found Boots to be suffering from post-natal depression.
On the day of the double killing she had surfed the internet looking up the effects that anti-depressants can have during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
She also sent her husband, who was in court for the sentencing, a photo text of Lily but when he tried to call to say he was on his way home there was no answer.
When he arrived, he found his wife, who told police she had stopped taking her anti-depressants two weeks earlier, sitting looking “stunned and vacant” five hours after she had killed the children.