A mother in Australia, who is accused of killing her three children by driving her car into a lake, has pleaded guilty on Monday (16 January). The 37-year-old mother, Akon Guode, admitted that she was behind the murder of her three children — one-year-old Bol and four-year-old twins Hanger and Madit — in April 2015.

She had also tried to kill another child, named Alual, but the six-year-old survived.

Guode — who arrived in Australia from South Sudan in 2008 — in the Victorian Supreme Court pleaded guilty to one count of infanticide, two counts of murder and one of attempted murder. She entered her petitions with help from an interpreter and added that she drove the car into Lake Gladman in Wyndham Vale on 8 April, 2015 intending to kill the children.

Her admission followed pre-trial hearings during which sensational claims of witchcraft, drug abuse by a witness and threats to kill were found.

Joseph Manyang, the father of the three children, described Guode as a "loving mother" and said it was a shock to know that she killed them.

However, a key witness told police in a statement that Guode spoke about killing her children on the day of the incident.

At the time of the incident a number of passersby and emergency crew reportedly tried desperately to save the children, who were unable to swim.

Prosecutors also played a harrowing emergency call from one witness during a court hearing in 2016.

Guode has been put under custody until her next court appearance on 31 January.