Mother found guilty of killing her son after setting fire to the family car


Teresa Sheldon yesterday pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility following the death of her son and arson with the intent to endanger life on another child. Teresa was sentenced to a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act without restriction.

Following the hearing Kerry Maylin, Principal Crown Advocate for CPS Wessex said: "Following the breakup of her marriage Teresa Sheldon became increasingly paranoid fearing she would lose her family.

"In an effort to kill herself, her son and another child, on 11 August 2014 Teresa bought some petrol and drove to a quiet country lane where she poured the petrol in the rear passenger footwells and set it alight.

"Teresa and one of the children in the vehicle survived with burns, however unfortunately her son Tommy died on 25 August 2014 in hospital from his injuries.

"Our thanks go to the witnesses who without regard for their own safety freed Tommy from the car.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Tommy and the other child at this difficult time. We hope that today's hearing has provided some closure for them".


Note to press on reporting:

Please be aware there is a reporting restriction present on this case to prohibit the naming or identification of the second victim who survived as they are a child. Care should be taken in reporting this case and where required you should seek advice from your legal team to ensure appropriate and legal reporting.