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UK triple murders: Husband breaks silence

Gary Clarence said his wife’s story of love and dedication had become a story of despair and hopelessness.

FILE: 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 - The husband of the South African woman sentenced to indefinite hospital treatment in London after killing three of their children says there are lessons to be learned from the tragic case.

Tania Clarence was found guilty of manslaughter after suffocating four-year-old Olivia, and three-year-old twins Max and Ben in April.

Speaking via the family's solicitor this afternoon, Gary Clarence said his wife had been placed under unbearable pressure as she attempted to look after the three severely disabled youngsters at the family's London home.

In a hard-hitting statement, Gary said his wife's story of love and dedication had become a story of despair and hopelessness.

He claims the couple had been placed under constant pressure from health professionals, leading to one of the saddest cases to come before the criminal court.

Tania sobbed as she was sentenced to indefinite treatment in a secure hospital.

The court heard Tania developed mental illness after giving up her career to care for the children as they battled Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a rare genetic disorder that 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.

The judge imposed a hospital sentence rather than a prison term as he ruled Clarence remained vulnerable and in need of ongoing psychiatric treatment.

The judge found Clarence had abused her position of trust but agreed to defence requests for her to be spared prison.

The judge also said the mother suffered low self-esteem and struggled to make close relationships after she had an unhappy childhood in South Africa.

She had to deal with her grandmother committing suicide and her mother attempting suicide.

Clarence will remain in hospital until she has fully recovered from her mental illness.

Police discovered three suicide notes, in which Clarence said she couldn't live with what she had done.

She took as many as 110 pain killers and cut her wrists as she tried to commit suicide.

At a hearing last month, prosecutors said she had killed the children to end their suffering at a time when she was unable to form a rational judgement/