Sarah Barrass and her half-brother Brandon Machin murdered two of the six children they had together in May 2019 in Sheffield, UK.
They both strangled Blake, 14, and Tristan, 13 after their demand for a bigger house was rejected and they feared their relationship would get out after she refused to tell social services who the children’s father was.
Evil Barrass had tried to poison all six of their children – but enlisted Machin to kill Blake and Tristan after her plot failed.
A new report released today (August 28th 2020) shows social workers had failed to spot the danger and thought Barrass was a “competent and caring” mum.
The report, released by the Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership revealed she struggled to cope with the teens’ behaviour and complained her three-bed council house was too small to keep her children apart.
Barrass, 35, and Machin, 39, did not work and lived apart although Machin would come over to the house to help look after the children daily.
Barrass had said she had ‘six children living in three bedrooms for years.’
One of the children even said his dad ‘died during the second world war’ which raised some suspicions, all those this went unheeded.
After the murders, the court in England heard that Barrass was ‘afraid her children would be taken away from her’ as mitigation for the killings.
Kama Melly QC, prosecuting, said: “None of the children wanted to take the tablets but were forced to do so.
“The defendants expected the tablets to kill the children overnight.”
After the poisoning didn’t work the pair even tried to drown the younger children in the bath. When this also failed they went online to research how to strangle, which they did to the two eldest boys.
Mr Justice Goss, sentencing, said to Barrass: “You considered your love for them and fear of being parted from them entitled you to take their lives as well as your own.”
Speaking after the sentencing, Edmund Hulbert from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This was an appalling crime in which two young lives were lost, and a family torn apart, leaving a community in shock.
“Two of the surviving children witnessed their older siblings being attacked and the trauma that all the children have experienced, and will continue to experience, is unimaginable.
“It is paramount now that the surviving children are allowed to rebuild their lives in peace.”
Barrass and Machin were both sentenced to 35 years to life at Sheffield Crown Court.
The report released today, cleared police, social services and other agencies of any failings.
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