SA-born mom pleads guilty to manslaughter

Prosecutors have accepted Tania Clarence's guilty plea to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

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

LONDON - A British court has ruled that the South African-born mother who killed her three children at their London home will not face murder charges.

Prosecutors have this morning accepted Tania Clarence's guilty plea to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

The bodies of four-year-old Olivia Clarence and her three-year-old twin brothers Max and Ben were found at the family's London home in April.

Within days their mother had been arrested and charged with their murder.

Central Criminal Court of England and Wales agreed to drop three murder charges against Clarence and to instead accept her guilty plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

All three children had suffered from spinal muscular atrophy, a severe life-limiting genetic disorder, and Clarence had quit her job to become their primary caregiver.

Today's decision means a planned trial next year will be dropped and Clarence will instead be called on 14 November for sentencing.

Clarence has been held in a secure hospital since April, just a few days after the bodies of her three young children were discovered at their home in New Malden home.

At her last court appearance, a tearful Clarence dramatically admitted killing the three children, however, she denied murder, claiming instead she was guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter.