Mother admits killing her disabled twin sons, 3, and daughter, 4, in London

LONDON (AFP) - A South African woman wept in court on Monday as she admitted killing her three young disabled children in London.

Tania Clarence, 42, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey court in London to the manslaughter by diminished responsibility of her three-year-old twin sons, Ben and Max, and four-year-old daughter Olivia.

But Clarence denied the more serious charge of murder sought by prosecutors and will face trial in February. She was remanded to a secure mental hospital.

Her husband Gary was in court to watch the proceedings. At the time of the children's deaths he was away in South Africa, the couple's home country, with their eldest daughter.

Clarence was detained after the three bodies were found at the family's home in New Malden, south-west London, on April 22.

All three suffered from type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic condition that leaves children with little control of their movements and can drastically shorten their life expectancy.

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