Mother strangles two teenage sons to death after bid to poison her four children fails: 'I gave you life, I can take it away'
Sarah Barrass, 35, has pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, as well as conspiracy to murder, and five counts of attempted murder
The Sheffield Crown Court heard the gruesome details of the brutal murders of two brothers killed by their mother and a relative. The pair reportedly strangled them and then placed bin bags over their heads.
MEAWW previously reported that mother-of-six Sarah Barrass, 35, and family member Brandon Machin, 39, were arrested in May after they murdered the former's teenage sons Tristan, 13, and Blake, 14, at their family home in Sheffield on May 24.
Kama Melly QC, prosecuting, told the court that the pair had hatched a plan to kill the two teenage boys as well as four of Barrass' other children at least 10 days before because they feared they would be taken into care and were "better off dead", according to Mirror.
"Visitors to Miss Barrass's house would hear her tell the boys, 'I gave you life, I can take it away,'" she revealed. "Speaking to the boys in that way was described as an everyday thing."
Melly said that the day before they killed Tristan and Blake, they gathered up tablets from around the house and "forced" her four "terrified" elder children to consume them. Afterward, expecting they would all die overnight, Barrass reportedly went on social media and made posts about how her children were suffering from a sickness bug.
In the months leading up to the murders, she had also posted a Stephen King quote that read, "Murder is like potato chips; you can't stop with just one," and an image of a grim reaper with the caption, "Coming for you."
When the tablets didn't work as expected, she searched the internet for other methods of murder, including suffocating, strangulation and drowning, and called Machin for help in executing her plan.
Barrass sobbed as the court heard of how she strangled Tristan by wrapping her dressing gown cord around his neck and pulling on it for three minutes between 6 am and 7 am on May 24, and how Machin strangled Blake with his bare hands.
Melly said the older brother even saw his younger sibling being strangled by his mother, and that Barrass and Machin "then placed bin bags over their heads to ensure their certain death."
The pair then tried to drown one of the younger children but failed to go through with it.
Eventually, Barrass took her surviving children to her bedroom and called the police to report her crime. The court heard the 35-year-old planned to kill the younger two children and herself after the older four had died.
Bryan Cox, mitigating for Barrass, admitted his client's crimes were "evil and nothing but evil" but said she had been "profoundly damaged by her childhood" and was, for many years, "subject to sustained neglect and emotional, physical and sexual abuse."
Barrass and Machin pleaded guilty to the murders of Tristan and Blake, as well as admitted conspiracy to murder all of the former's children and five counts of attempted murder.
On November 12, both Barrass and Machin were sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 35 years.