Woman drowns 4-year-old daughter before laying her out on a coffee table in the garden and setting her on fire
Carly Ann Harris, 38, is accused of drowning her daughter Amelia and setting her on fire following an incident at their South Wales home in June this year
A woman deliberately drowned her four-year-old daughter in the bath before placing her body on a coffee table in the garden and setting it on fire, a court has heard.
On 8 June, 38-year-old Carly Ann Harris allegedly killed Amelia Brooke Harris in Trealaw, Rhondda Cynon Taff. While the facts were not disputed, the jurors at Newport Crown Court had to consider the defendant's "profound" mental health issues, even as Harris denied charges of murder and manslaughter.
According to reports, jurors were told they must decide if Harris is guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility or if she's not guilty by reason of insanity, BBC reports.
Harris, from Tonypandy in South West Wales, told detectives during an interrogation that she was "a fallen angel and had to prove her strength" and said that her daughter Amelia would have to be "cold-washed and burned," the court heard. Before taking Amelia's life, she allegedly told her: "You're going to see the angels. See you in heaven."
Prosecutor Michael Jones QC said: "On that day, Carly Ann Harris placed Amelia in a bath full of water and deliberately drowned her." The defendant then took the body out of the bath, wrapped it in toilet paper, and covered it with a sheet." He added: "She placed her body on a coffee table situated in the garden and then set fire to Amelia's body."
Speaking to the jury, Jones said that as the defendant was suffering from anxiety and believed people were stalking her, they would hear about her mental issues aside from information on the injuries and cause of death.
"There is no dispute as to what Harris did that day. The evidence that you hear is not in dispute," he said. "You will hear psychiatric evidence to the profound and overwhelming mental health issues that affect and continue to affect Harris."
According to reports, after killing the child, Harris appeared outside the house and said: "Amelia has gone to heaven. Don't go out the back, she's gone to heaven."
"The angels told me to do it. Just arrest me, it's OK," she told responding officers, jurors heard. When cautioned, she said: "Jesus told me to do it. She will be OK. Trust me. I'm not crazy, I promise you. I promise you I wouldn't do that to my only girl if she wasn't returning."
When she was taken to the police station, Harris also called herself a "monster." During questioning, the defendant told authorities she had been having "visions of angels" and was ordered to "sacrifice her daughter in order to prove my faith."
The trial continues.