Man jailed for murder of children in Manchester, England

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Petros Williams, 37, was convicted of the murder of Yolanda Molemohi and her brother Theo, aged four and two respectively, in Manchester, England. Before the murder was committed, the marriage between Williams and his wife, Morengoe Molemohi, had broken down after nine years, with the mother subsequently visiting dating websites on the Internet to attempt to find other men.

In October 2009, Williams recorded a video of his two children, entitled: "Daddy, Yolly, Theo. Byee The End"; in it he instructed them to look at the camera and declare: "We will miss you, Mummy." After recording the video, he strangled them both. He then left two notes in his apartment for his wife to see. The first note said: "Mo, use the internet as much as you like. Luv Petros." The other note read: "Sorry my lovely Yolly and Theo. I love you. Sorry mummy decided to leave us for new boyfriend."

Having made her way into the accommodation, Morengoe, the mother of the two kids, found Theo and Yolanda unconscious with Petros, who was dizzy but unharmed, in his apartment on October 14, 2009. The two young children were then transported to hospital but were declared deceased shortly afterwards.

It is hard to conceive any more shocking crime than a parent deliberately taking the life of his or her child.

—Judge Justice Kenneth Parker

In Manchester Crown Court, where the five-day trial was held, Williams pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder; he made a claim that it was Morongoe, his wife, who had committed the murders. After the hearing, the jury inside the court took 1 hour and 30 minutes to deliver the verdict of guilty on both charges. Petros Williams was then sentenced to prison for a minimum of 28 years. Judge Justice Kenneth Parker spoke to Petros as he was sentencing Williams, stating to him: "It is hard to conceive any more shocking crime than a parent deliberately taking the life of his or her child.

"We saw from the video that Yolanda and Theo were happy children, full of love and laughter, with a whole lifetime ahead of them and, above all, absolute trust in their father who, for entirely selfish purposes, would end their brief lives. You remain in denial. You have simply refused to come to terms with the enormity of your deeds. You have shown not an ounce of remorse in this court. Your pity has been exclusively reserved for yourself."

In a statement released, Morengoe Molemohi commented after the court trial: "I will never be able to wipe the image from my mind, nor forget the terrifying desperate moments when I scrambled to help them, to call for help from others and to do what I could for them while I waited for the emergency services to arrive. Try to imagine the panic, the isolation and the sense of uselessness in those moments, as I realised that my most precious children needed me the most and I was unable to save them."