Monday, 7 July 2014

Tania Clarence, murderer or victim?

This morning, Tania Clarence, mother of Olivia, Ben and Max pleaded guilty to manslaughter, due to diminished responsibility.

If you missed this heartbreaking story, the three children all suffered from a life shortening illness, Spinal Muscular Atrophy and their mother is accused of smothering them at their home in April.

My instant response was, how can a mother do that, but the story of the Clarences is just so incredibly sad.

I cannot judge this woman, I do not know what the family went through each day, Who am I to judge ANYONE on how they manage?

I am lucky, I have three happy healthy children, I cannot imagine how hard it must be to have three ill children. I don't know her state of mind, and neither do you.

The level of judgement in this case has been absolutely horrific to read. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and differing opinions are ALWAYS welcome here on my site, but there is a HUGE difference between having an opinion and passing judgement without full facts, which are not in our possession.

I can only speculate about how much help the Clarences were getting, knowing the level of cutbacks in the NHS, I can only imagine it wasn't enough. Is it ever enough?

Three children lost their lives, this is something so incredibly sad that I cannot even begin to comprehend it. I look at my children and I am thankful. I do not know how parents of disabled children manage, especially when a child needs 24 care, even more so when you have three.

I am in awe of how parents cope, and so so so so sad for the people who cannot.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this matter, you don't have to agree with me on this, all opinions are welcome here.

But no matter whether we agree or not, I think we can all agree that the result is tragic.

Big Fashionista x x x



  1. There are no words that befit this tragedy...My heart aches for the whole family. The father...He has lost his whole family. I honestly can't imagine the pain of this woman. The pain she must feel ( assumedly) should be more painful and excruciating than any prison sentence.

  2. I know in the eyes of the law, she is seen as a murderer but I think she's one of the victims in this (I know her children are the main victims as they've lost their lives). The main question that springs to my mind is 'did she know what she was doing?' as she could have been suffering from some severe mental illness such as Bipolar Disorder, Depression. Psychosis, Schizophrenia etc which does suggest why she's been remanded in a high security hospital rather than a prison! I mean at the moment we don't know the circumstances that surround this horrible tragedy, people have judged (which is an involuntary action - we can't help it) but some of things I've seen aren't very nice. My heart goes out to all the family, especially the father who has lost his entire family. xxx

  3. I don't think that the mother was murderer as such, and although they appeared to be financially able to provide a lot of support for the children, it doesn't mean that they or their parents were not still suffering.

    To have to watch your child suffer, knowing that the only way that suffering will end is when the child dies must be unbearable. She may have felt that it was a kindness to do this to them, I really don't know.

  4. My initial reaction at the time this story came out was 'that poor woman, what she must have gone thru to be driven to that'. Obviously I do not condone whay she did and I feel a greater deal of sympathy for the children, but no one can possibly know how difficult it is to be in that situation until they are there.

  5. This story is very tragic and from reading some of your post am actually reflecting more and learning not to jump straight into judging.

  6. As I said yesterday on the ol' Twitter, doctors have said that a parent would not be able to care for one child with this disorder alone. One parent trying to care for three children with this disorder, with a lack of help (which other family members have stated was a problem) would be under immeasurable stress and depression would become an almost certainty. Most parents of disabled children, often unnecessarily, hold themselves to blame for their children's condition, and the emotional burden that this would have on a parent of three disabled children would be huge. However, these children WERE loved, they were not neglected, their Mother devoted her life to them, "gave up" her life for them if you like. You can only assume therefore that a loving mother found herself in a very dark place, but not that she was devoid of love; if anything, due to her mental health, I suspect she committed this crime, in her mind, with love, and not with hatred. The ignorance that drives people to make comments about her being evil must be challenged, more and more cases like this will crop up whilst we are unable to see mentally ill people as just that, people, and show them the sort of compassion that might save lives. I've seen a lot of people say that she should receive the death penalty for taking three lives away... seriously? Fuck off back to the fourteenth century and burn yourself a witch or two.

  7. I can't condone what she did. But in the same breathe I can't see her as a cold blooded murderer.


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  9. I've been a carer for kids with severe disabilities for a long time. My best friend has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

    I don't know what else this woman was dealing with, but I know that dealing with this level of disabiity is exhausting, upsetting, draining, frightening. Perhaps she thought that death at her own hand was kinder than the slow death of a muscle atrophying condition, I don't know.

    All I know is I could never say how I would cope with 3 children with a severe life limiting condition. I can't say I wouldn't snap. I'd like to think I wouldn't, but in the last few years we've seen huge cuts to social care, the little help that was available has disappeared

    I just can't say how I would cope in that situation.

    So I can not and will not pass judgement on her.


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