The dad of baby twins who were killed by their own mum has shared a heartbreaking tribute on what would have been their third birthday.
Samantha Ford drowned 23-month-old Jake and Chloe in the bath at her home in Margate, Kent, following the breakdown of her marriage, before attempting to take her own life.
Her ex, Steven Ford, posted a poignant message on Twitter saying three years ago today was the happiest day of his life.
He wished happy birthday to his beautiful twins.
Posting on Twitter, Mr Ford said: "To exist in this life without you both here, is the burden I'll carry for the rest of my life.
"Three years ago today was the happiest day of my life.
"I will remember that day.
"Happy birthday Chloe and Jake.
"My beautiful twins #jakeandchloeforever."
Samantha Ford killed the twins on Boxing Day 2018 after splitting up with Steven a few months beforehand, Kent Live reports.
After she killed the twins, Ford attempted to take her own life.
She drove her Ford Galaxy at an estimated speed of 100mph into the rear of a lorry without a seatbelt on in the early hours of December 27.
A court heard that she had been suffering with acute depression and when police managed to open the doors of her vehicle, she told them: "I've killed my babies. Please let me die.
"I put them in the bath. We were meant to be together. I was going to jump off a cliff but it's too dark."
While she was taken to hospital, police attended the address she was renting in Margate where they found the two toddlers in their bedroom in nappies and clean, dry baby grows.
Attempts were made to revive them, but sadly they were unsuccesful.
While in hospital, Ford was described as hysterical, screaming: "I wouldn't hurt them, they're my babies. This is a dream."
Ford denied murder but admitted two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at a hearing in May 2019.
At her sentencing hearing on July 26, the Old Bailey heard that Ford and her husband had spent the first 10 years of their marriage living in Qatar and their children were born by IVF while living there.
But the relationship turned sour after they returned to the UK in early 2018 and moved to the village of Charing, the court heard.
Ford was angry at leaving her affluent lifestyle in the Middle East, the Old Bailey heard, and was said to be trying to pressure her husband into returning to Qatar – leading to their split in November 2018.
Relatives said Ford's mental health declined rapidly following the separation, and she sent multiple text messages to her estranged husband trying to persuade him to return to her.
She and the children moved to an address in Margate while Mr Ford remained in Charing.
The court heard that her mental health declined rapidly following the separation and she made multiple internet searches of different methods of suicide.
By Christmas, her family decided that her mental health was so poor that Mr Ford should take the twins and bring them back on Boxing Day.
Ford drowned them later that evening after her parents had left the house.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Ford said he thought his children would have been "terrified, confused and that they suffered" in death.
He said: "This was the most heinous, spiteful act on two innocent children. I have no doubt [Ford] did this with the intention of taking her own life and punishing me in the process."
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