NRI woman jailed for 33 yrs for killing daughters

Rekha denies murder on grounds of diminished responsibility

Sentencing 41-year-old Rekha Kumari-Baker, Justice David Bean of the Cambridge Crown Court imposed two mandatory life terms on the woman and said the Parole Board would not consider her for release until 2040, when she will be 72. She has already spent two years in custody since the 2007 killings.

Kumari-Baker, a waitress, was convicted of killing her two daughters while they were asleep, but had denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
The elder daughter Davina Baker, 16, was stabbed 39 times while her sister Jasmine Baker, 13, was attacked 29 times with a kitchen knife in a frenzied attack by their mother in 2007.

“Most people will find it inexplicable that a mother could kill her own children and you have given no explanation for it,” the judge said. Earlier, the court was told that Davina was stabbed first at the house in Stretham, on 13 June 2007. There were wounds on the girl’s body which showed she had tried to defend herself. Jasmine was killed in a similar manner.

Kumari-Baker had bought the knives two days before the attack and took the girls on a late-night shopping trip on the night of killing to make sure that they were tired and less likely to resist, the court heard.

At around 3:00 am, Kumari-Baker woke up and first stabbed Davina and then Jasmine. After killing them she went out for a drive, the court was told.

The jury was told that Kumari-Baker then rang a friend to say: “I have done something terrible.”
In a hand-written note she wrote: “I don’t want them to get hurt as I did.” She concluded by writing: “My kids will not be a burden to anyone anymore.”
The court heard there was “much contention” between her and her ex-husband David Baker over the care and custody of their children.

One theory was that Kumari-Baker wanted to “wreak havoc” on her ex-husband by killing the girls. She had also been distressed by a break-up of a relationship with her boyfriend Jeff Powell.

Neil Hunt, a psychiatrist, told jurors he did not think there was evidence of any mental illness despite Kumari’s “extreme and unusual behaviour”.

After the hearing, David Baker, a businessman, said “not a day passes” when he did not think of Davina and Jasmine.

“I was robbed of my daughters by an act of calculated viciousness by a woman who, having given life to them, in her vindictive mind believed she also had a right to take that life from them. She will now pay the price for this.”

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