A mother charged with the murder of her twins has been further remanded during a hearing at Maidstone Crown Court today (December 31).
Samantha Ford, 37, of Castle Drive, Margate, is charged with the murder of the two 23-month old children.
Police discovered the youngsters at a house in Westwood in the early hours of December 27.
Mrs Ford had been involved in a crash with a lorry on the A299 Thanet way at 2.50am that day and was taken to hospital with a minor head injury. Following the incident, at 3.35am, police attended Mrs Ford’s home in Castle Drive, due to concerns for the welfare of the toddlers.
The children, Jake and Chloe Ford, were found unresponsive and taken to hospital where they were confirmed dead.
Mrs Ford, who is currently being held at HMP Bronzefield in Surrey, was expected to appear at Maidstone Crown Court via video link but her barrister Ronnie Manek said she had decided to return to the custody of the prison’s health care team.
Describing her as having mental health concerns, he added that ‘with respect’ she did not need to be present for the brief proceedings.
Mr Manek also told Judge David Griffith-Jones QC that a planned conference with Ford at 9.30am had also not gone ahead.
The court was told the defence team is awaiting psychiatric reports and Mr Manek requested that a plea and trial preparation hearing be adjourned until the end of February so that it had ‘a better idea of her mental state’.
But Judge Griffith-Jones said the next hearing would take place on January 31. Acknowledging the case was in its ‘very early days’ he added: “I recognise it may be only limited progress that can be made on that occasion.”
The judge also fixed a provisional trial date of June 24. It will be heard by a High Court judge at Maidstone and is expected to last three weeks.
Flowers have soft toys have been left outside the Westwood property in tribute to the two children. It is believed Mrs Ford and the youngsters had only lived at the house for a few weeks. She had previously lived in Charing with her husband.
Since their tragic death, husband and father Steven Ford has thanked people for their support via a social media message, saying: “I keep reading all of the kind words of support from everyone. People don’t even know me but they care. Every message helps, even if it’s just for a moment.”
Report Julia Roberts