Mum allegedly murdered two young daughters because they "got in the way" of her offering sex for money, court hears - The Rugby Observer

Mum allegedly murdered two young daughters because they "got in the way" of her offering sex for money, court hears

Editorial Correspondent 3rd Jul, 2019 Updated: 3rd Jul, 2019   0

A MUM murdered her two young daughters after they became a “burden” and “got in the way” of her offering sex to men in exchange for money, a court heard.

Model Louise Porton, 23, is accused of killing three-year-old Lexi Draper and 16-month old Scarlett Vaughan by obstructing their airways.

Lexi was found dead at home in the early hours of January 15 last year after reports she was unconscious.

Her little sister Scarlett passed away after falling ill and was rushed to hospital 18 days later on February 1.

Porton, of Skiddaw, Rugby, went on trial accused of two counts of murder at Birmingham Crown Court.

Jurors were told both girls died as a result of “airway obstruction” after their mother “deliberately interfered with their breathing.”

It was claimed Porton would also “habitually” leave the children alone and would do “whatever she could not to have them with her.”

The girls became a “burden” to her and “got in the way of her doing what she wanted” – which included offering to meet men for sex in exchange for money, the jury were told.

The court also heard on one occasion she even discussed sending explicit images to a man in return for cash while she was in hospital with seriously ill Lexi.

Following the death of Lexi, Porton had remained “particularly unemotional and detached”, according to the paramedics who attended the scene.


The prosecution

Opening the case, Oliver Saxby QC, prosecuting, said: “No doubt, being a young mother of two young children will have placed an enormous burden on the defendant; and, no doubt, she needed time to herself.

“But, in the context of what was later to happen – two unexplained deaths consistent with deliberate airway obstruction – it is hard not to draw the conclusion that, for the defendant, at times, her two children got in the way of her doing what she wanted, when she wanted and with whom she wanted.

“When in due course an investigation into the deaths of Lexi and Scarlett was launched, police seized the defendant’s phone and were able to piece together something of the life she was leading.

“Putting it simply and I hope neutrally, this wasn’t a life in which caring for her two young children, indeed, having two young children to care for, always easily fitted.”

The court also heard Porton had messaged several males asking for them to put money into bank account in exchange for sexual images and offers of sex.

Reading out WhatsApp messages between Porton and other users prior to Lexi’s death, Mr Saxby said: “She sent sexual images and her sort code.

“She said ‘If you put enough in we can meet and I will **** you’. ‘Should fund my shopping’.”

Mr Saxby said examination of Porton’s phone records revealed searches for: “Can you actually die if blocked nose and forcibly closed mouth with tape.”

She also looked up: “For how long after drowning can someone be resuscitated?”, “How long does it take a dead body to go cold up to the shoulder?” and “five weird things that happen after you die”.


“Unemotional and detached”

The court heard Porton first called 111 on the evening of January 2 last year as she thought Lexi had had a fit and stopped breathing.

Mr Saxby added: “Later that evening, she took Lexi to hospital.

“Lexi was examined, she had recovered, no cause could be found for the fit and she was allowed home the next day.”

She dialled 999 in the early hours of the following morning after Lexi stepped breathing – but after being revived was sent home after doctors thought she had a chest infection.

Mr Saxby said: “This time, paramedics attended her address. They found Lexi in a deep state of unconsciousness.

“They revived her and took her to hospital where she was admitted for a more thorough examination.

“Lexi’s symptoms were consistent with some sort of deliberate airway obstruction – i.e. with someone having deliberately interfered with her ability to breathe.

“But doctors had no reason to suspect this at the time, they thought Lexi had a chest infection and she was given antibiotics before being discharged on January 8.”.

The court heard Porton then called emergency services on January 15 after Lexi stopped breathing again. Medics arrived and found Lexi dead.

Mr Saxby said: “Indeed, it was clear that she had been dead for some time.

“Judging how an innocent mother, a mother not responsible for her three-year old’s death, would react in such circumstances is nigh on impossible; and allowances must be made – shock and grief can manifest themselves in very different ways.

“She was particularly unemotional and detached and in the days that followed, the defendant’s attitude to what had happened, was not always as one would expect of an innocent mother coming to terms with so shocking a bereavement”.


“No natural cause of death”

Several days later Porton again called 111 saying she was heading to hospital with Scarlett.

Mr Saxby added: “The operator asked the defendant to see if she could wake Scarlett.

“The defendant went through the process – you may well conclude having heard the evidence that this was something of a charade – of seeing if she could wake her.

“But she could not. Because Scarlett was dead. She had been dead for some time.

“Both children, then. One aged three years, the other aged 17 months.

“Neither with any sort of relevant medical history. Both dead. Within 18 days of each other.

“As you would expect, a police investigation was launched and a number of specialist doctors were engaged to assist with what had happened.

“Their conclusions, in short:

“No natural cause of death for either child. That is to say, the doctors could not find any ‘natural’ reason why either should have died.

“And in the case of each, symptoms consistent with ‘deliberate airway obstruction’.

“Indeed, in the case of Scarlett, signs of recent bleeding in her neck tissue suggestive of some sort of neck compression.

“The overwhelming inference is that Lexi and Scarlett died because someone deliberately interfered with their breathing.

“That someone can only have been this defendant.”


Porton was “heard laughing on the phone at an undertakers”

Porton could be heard laughing on the phone at an undertakers while arranging Lexi’s funeral, the court heard.

Jurors were told the 23-year-old was heard by staff joking around while using Facetime to speak to a man at the funeral parlour.

When the member of staff returned to the room, Porton stopped laughing and began “staring blankly and not providing very much information”.

She also accepted 41 friend requests on dating apps on January 16 – the day after Lexi died.

Prosecutor Oliver Saxby said: “On January 30, 2018, the defendant, her sister, and Scarlett attended a funeral care business to discuss the arrangements for Lexi’s funeral.

“At first the meeting with the funeral arranger, Stella Curley, was difficult, as the defendant appeared tense and she was quiet and staring into space.

“Ms Curley left the room to bring in a colleague, Paul Rowden, to help.

“While she was out of the room for about five minutes, she heard the defendant on her phone laughing.

“It appeared she was using Facetime and she was speaking to a male.

“When Ms Curley came back into the room, the defendant told the person she was on the phone to that she had to go and reverted to how she had been before, staring blankly and not providing very much information.”

A man reported Porton telling him “in the most casual and apparently calm way” how her daughter had died.

Mr Saxby said: “She added the words, ‘only me and this one left now’. At which she turned and walked into Tescos.”


“Showed no emotion”

The court heard Porton “showed no emotion” and got her phone out while paramedics were trying to save the life of her second child, Scarlett.

Mr Saxby added: “When the first paramedic attended he was not greeted with the sort of panicked response perhaps you would expect.

“He went over to the only car he could see with anyone near it.

“He saw a small child on the driver’s seat, which had been reclined.

“The poppers of the onesie which the child had on had been undone and he could see the chest, but he could not see it rise or fall, suggesting that she was not breathing.

“Her eyes were closed. He lowered his cheek to her mouth and felt no breath. He started chest compressions and gave oxygen and asked the defendant to help – which she did.

“Nine minutes later, an ambulance arrived and Scarlett was picked up and taken to the ambulance.

“The paramedic who did this describes her as freezing and completely lifeless.

“The defendant followed. She was calm and showed no emotion.

“The ambulance set off with the defendant sitting in the front and the paramedics in the back trying to resuscitate Scarlett.

“The heart rhythm was asystole, meaning that there was no electrical activity in the heart and it was not beating.

“Scarlett’s body temperature was low, her blood sugar was raised, her eyes were fixed and dilated, indicating that her body had been starved of oxygen for some time.

“The defendant remained calm and showed no signs of emotion at all. She was seen to get her phone out.

“The paediatric medical team continued with attempts at resuscitation, however her condition did not improve and Scarlett was pronounced dead at 11:31pm.

“In the hours that followed, the defendant sent a series of messages to various people.

“On March 20, 2018, the defendant was arrested on suspicion of the murder of both of her daughters.”


“Why would I kill my own kids?”

Upon being arrested Porton said to officers “why would I kill my own kids?”

During police interview, she also stated: “My children were never an inconvenience to me and I accommodated my lifestyle and personal life around them.”

She added: “It is correct that life as a single mother was financially difficult, but I never asked anyone for money and any suggestion that I used my daughter’s ill health or death to make any money is wholly inaccurate and wrong.

“‘Even after I had been interviewed for seven-and-a-half hours, I still don’t know how my daughters died, or what caused it. I maintain I have absolutely no involvement in the death of my children.”

Porton denies murder.

The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, continues.

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