UK murders: Clarence to remain in hospital

The South African-born woman is accused of killing her three children last month.

FILE: Police forensic officers enter a house in New Malden, south London, on 23 April 2014 after three children were found dead. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A British judge has ordered South African-born murder accused Tania Clarence should continue to be held in a secure hospital.

At a short hearing at the Old Bailey in London on Friday, the judge ordered the 42-year-old remain in a secure hospital until her hearing in 28 days.

The court order is implemented under the UK's mental health legislation.

Clarence is accused of killing her four-year old daughter, Olivia, and three-year old twins, Max and Ben.

The children were found dead at the family's upmarket home in New Malden, south London, a month ago.

The children all suffered from a rare and incurable genetic disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement.

The illness rendered the children unable to stand and they required constant attention, which their mother reportedly struggled to cope with.

It's understood the children were killed by suffocation.

Clarence was absent from today's hearing.