UK triple murder: Post-mortem inconclusive

Scotland Yard said the post-mortem did not establish a cause of death.

Officers outside a house in New Malden, south London on 23 April 2014 after three children were found dead at the house on the previous day. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Post-mortem examinations on three children found dead in the London home of a South African couple have proved inconclusive.

The children's mother, 42-year-old Tania Clarence has been charged with three counts of murder and there will be a bail hearing tomorrow at the Old Bailey.

Four-year -old Olivia and three-year-old twins Ben and Max were found dead at the family's home in New Malden, London on Tuesday.

The three children had the life-limiting genetic disorder Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) or "floppy baby syndrome".

Scotland Yard said the post-mortem examinations on the three "did not establish a cause of death" and further tests would be carried out.

Clarence has already appeared in court once, standing just feet away from her husband Gary, an investment banker.


Clarence, a graphic designer, had given up her job to care for her three children full-time.

SMA is a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement.

The illness rendered the children unable to stand and they required constant attention.

Gary was visiting relatives in Johannesburg at the time with the couple's eldest child who is thought not to have any health problems.

Gary is the son of Brian Clarence who died of brain cancer in October and founded the biggest hotel-conference centre in Southern Africa, the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre, with Gary's brother Kevin.

A statement released by Cape Town based law firm EQM Hunter on behalf of the family said they have undergone and suffered an extreme tragedy which left them under tremendous pressure and strain.

Meanwhile, it's being reported that Clarence t ried committing suicide shortly before her arrest.

Unconfirmed reports suggest she was found in the bathroom with slit wrists.

A British newspaper claims the three children, aged three and four, were suffocated in their beds while dressed in pyjamas.

It has also emerged the children may have been killed 24 hours before police were called to the south west London home by relatives who were worried as they hadn't been able to contact any of the family.

Clarence was treated in hospital before being arrested.

Officials are yet to confirm the claims