A MOTHER has been found guilty of murdering her two young daughters within weeks of each other last year.
Louise Porton, 23, of Skiddaw, was found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court today (Thursday August 1) of killing her older daughter, three-year-old Lexi Draper, on January 15 last year, and Lexi’s 16-month-old sister Scarlett Vaughan just over two weeks later on February 1.
Three-year-old Lexi was pronounced dead by paramedics at the family home in Beechwood Court, Rugby in the early hours of January 15 2018. Porton called an ambulance saying she had found Lexi lifeless in her bed after going in to check on her.
Following Lexi’s death, the Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy and Childhood procedures (SUDIC) were followed by professionals.
Scarlett died just over two weeks later. Porton claimed that on the evening of February 1 she had set out to take Scarlett to the hospital after she had fallen ill. On her way to the hospital she pulled over in the car park at Elliott’s Retail Park in Rugby to call an ambulance.
Scarlett was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Following Scarlett’s death, a Home Office pathologist and a paediatric pathologist worked together to complete a post mortem on both Scarlett and Lexi.
Following extensive enquiries with specialist doctors, no natural cause of death was found for either child. It was established that both children had died as a result of deliberate airway obstruction.
Following Scarlett’s death, Warwickshire Police launched a murder investigation into the deaths of both children.
On 20 March 2018, Porton was arrested on suspicion of murdering Lexi and Scarlett.
On 25 January 2019, she was charged with their murders.
Throughout her police interviews Porton denied responsibility for the deaths of Lexi and Scarlett.
Detective Superintendent Pete Hill said: “I will never be able to understand why Louise Porton murdered her children Lexi and Scarlett.
“It is clear from the evidence that Porton tried to kill her daughter, Lexi, on at least two occasions prior to her death on January 15 2018.
“Not content with killing one of her children, she did exactly the same to her other daughter, Scarlett, on February 1 2018.
“She has lied repeatedly to friends, family and professionals to cover her tracks. At no point throughout the whole investigation has she ever shown any real signs of emotion.
“Our thoughts are with the families of Lexi and Scarlett. I’m sure today’s outcome will do little to heal their pain, but I hope they can take some comfort.
“I would also like to thank the medical professionals who provided expert opinion on the case. Without their support a successful prosecution would not have been possible.”
Lexi’s and Scarlett’s father Chris Draper released a statement on behalf of their wider family.
He said: “When we lost Lexi we were heartbroken and couldn’t believe she had gone. Then we were devastated to hear about Scarlett.
“Only having a short time with Lexi and never meeting Scarlett makes it all the more heartbreaking.
“We will miss out on all those special occasions they would have celebrated. Their first day at school, birthdays, getting married and having children of their own.
“The loss of Lexi and Scarlett has not just affected the immediate family, but also all those who were part of their lives.
“The only comfort is that Lexi and Scarlett are together.”
Porton will be sentenced tomorrow morning (Friday August 2).
A full report of the court case will follow.