Mother guilty of murdering her two young daughters
A young mother whose daughters died just weeks apart has today (1 August) been jailed for a minimum of 32 years for their murder.
Louise Porton, 23, had researched a number of macabre topics regarding death and was exchanging messages and images with men on dating websites around the time her girls were killed.
Birmingham Crown Court heard harrowing details concerning the deaths of Lexi, three, and 17-month-old Scarlett on 15 January and 1 February last year.
Lexi was originally taken to hospital in early January with breathing problems but was discharged with antibiotics. On 15 January, when paramedics responded to an emergency call, they found she had died.
Just 18 days later, Porton dialled 111 saying Scarlett was unwell in the car while she drove her to hospital. When emergency services attended, they found Scarlett had been dead for some time.
The pathologist was unable to identify a natural cause of death for either child. However, there were signs of internal injury to Scarlett’s neck consistent with compression or squeezing and her blood was recovered on a hotel pillow.
Anjuli Shergill from the CPS said: “This is a deeply upsetting case involving the death of two very young children at the hands of their mother.
“We will never be able to say for certain why Louise Porton killed her children; the lack of emotion she has shown throughout the proceedings has been disconcerting.
“She has robbed her daughters of their lives and denied their father the opportunity to know them.”
Porton, of Rugby in Warwickshire, was found guilty of two counts of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 32 years.
Building the case
The CPS case was that Porton saw her children as a burden. This was supported by witness evidence and evidence recovered from Porton’s mobile phone, which showed she would frequently leave her children by themselves.
Both girls' deaths were consistent with deliberate airway obstruction. The prosecution documented Porton’s chilling behaviour early last year, which included laughing in a funeral parlour following Lexi’s death.
She also visited dating websites, exchanged messages with men, arranged photo shoots and sent sexual images of herself whilst Lexi was seriously ill in hospital. She had also researched death, including how long it took for a body to go cold, just hours before she called an ambulance to attend to Lexi on the day she died.
Anjuli Shergill continued: “The police were able to recover chilling messages that had been sent around the times Lexi and Scarlett died and websites Louise Porton had accessed. With CCTV and witness accounts, we were able to piece together the lead up to the deaths of both children. When put in the context of the medical expert evidence and her own inconsistent accounts as to how the children died, we built a compelling case against her."
Notes to editors
- Anjuli Shergill is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the CPS West Midlands
- Louise Porton (07/02/1996) was convicted of two counts of murder.