Mum accused of drowning daughter, 3, in bathtub begged to be buried along with her

A MUM accused of drowning her three-year-old daughter in the bath wept in court today as jurors heard she wrote a letter asking to be buried beside her little girl.

Bethan Colebourn was allegedly murdered by her mum Claire Colebourn, 36, after she split from her chief executive husband, Michael, who she wrongly believed was having an affair.

Jurors were told that four days after Bethan’s death a letter arrived for Colebourn’s mum, Janet Fildew, penned just after Bethan had drowned.

It read: “Dear mum, I love you. Bethan loves you. Thank you for everything.

“Please make sure I am buried with Bethan in Fordingbridge.”

“When I pulled the covers back, her legs were a funny mottled colour. They were pinky, purpley”

Janet Fildew

Colebourn sobbed in the dock as she watched a police interview with her mum, in which she described finding Bethan, who she thought was asleep.

Mrs Fildew herself wept as she told officers she left Bethan so she could help Colebourn who was suffering a “diabetic episode” after allegedly injecting a massive dose of insulin in a suicide attempt.

In the filmed interview, Mrs Fildew said she was horrified as she realised Bethan’s “little mouth” was blue when she checked on her.

Her daughter and Mr Colebourn, 38, who had been together for 16 years, had split just over a month earlier and she said the separation had hit Colebourn “very hard”.

She told officers: “Michael walked out on her and she didn’t know where he was or why he had gone.

“They had a row and he walked out. Things snowballed very quickly.

“It has been very hard on her. There have been ups and downs since the separation.

“She no longer wanted to sleep in the room they had shared and had been sleeping in the room downstairs, where I found Bethan.

“I didn’t think she was low though. I am thinking about it all now though.”

Cops rushed to the £400,000 converted bungalow the Colebourns had shared on October 19, 2017, in Fordingbridge, Hants, after Mrs Fildew called 999.

Paramedics attempted to save little Bethan, who still had soaking wet hair and fluid was coming from her mouth.

Colebourn, who was curled up under a duvet upstairs, also had to be treated, having injected around 10 times the normal 30 unit daily amount of insulin, the court heard.

Prosecutors claim Colebourn tried to kill herself several times after drowning Bethan, attempting to hang herself and stabbing herself with a small knife.

Jurors were told she had drowned Bethan because she did not want her to have anything to do with Mr Colebourn, claiming she was “saving her” from him.

It was heard the youngster’s final, heartbreaking words to her mum, after telling her she loved her, were: “I don’t want a bath mummy, I don’t want a bath.”

In the video interview shown to jurors at Winchester Crown Court, Hants, today, Mrs Fildew said the front door was unlocked when she arrived and let herself in.

Recalling what she found, Mrs Fildew broke down in tears as she told officers: “I went to the downstairs bedroom and Bethan was in bed.

“She was lying down and I thought she was asleep. It was really quiet in the house. I couldn’t hear anything else, so I rushed upstairs and Claire was hanging over the side of her bed.

“She was snorting and I knew she was in a hypo. I ran downstairs to get jam and rushed back up again. I rubbed it around her mouth and rushed down again and got chocolate spread.

“I thought with all the noise I must check on Bethan. I turned the light on in her room and went closer to her. Her little mouth was blue.

“When I pulled the covers back, her legs were a funny mottled colour. They were pinky, purpley.

“I picked her up and she was cold, so cold. I said ‘Bethan, Bethan’. I was rushing around trying to find my mobile to call 999. She was not breathing.”

The court heard Mrs Fildew performed CPR on the little girl, but the court has heard Bethan had already been lying dead for almost a day.

Colebourn broke down again as she watched her mother tell officers her daughter had been a “brilliant mum” who “loved every minute” of being a parent.

Jurors were also read statements from police officers who arrested Colebourn after her daughter was rushed to hospital.

Sergeant Paul Roberts and Inspector Darren Murphy said they had found her curled up under a duvet in a bed upstairs while Bethan was being given CPR downstairs.

Insp Murphy said: “I recall the scene being akin to a teenager hiding under the covers. I do not think she asked about Bethan, she was very calm.” Sgt Roberts added: “I told her we were arresting her because I needed to protect anyone from further harm, including her.

“Due to her lack of emotion and her demeanour, I asked if she understood and she said yes. She said ‘we had a bath, we had a bath and I can’t remember anything else’.

“Throughout my whole interaction with her, she remained

calm. She did not appear distressed by what was happening.”

Colebourn, whose husband runs Southampton-based marine interiors firm Trimline, denies murdering her daughter.

The trial continues.

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