A mother who was found guilty of murdering her two young daughters at a women's refuge in Bradford has been jailed for 24 years. Samira Lupidi, 24, will spend a minimum of 10 years in prison after being convicted of stabbing her two daughters, three-year-old Evelyn Lupidi and 17-month old Jamsine Weaver, at a refuge last November.
Lupidi was moved into the safe house after claiming she had been assaulted by her then partner Carl Weaver at their home in Heckmondwike, near Bradford. While officers noted she did not have any signs of injuries from the alleged attack, which included being hit on the arms, legs and face, she was moved to the refuge for her own safety the day before she killed her daughters.
The jury at Bradford Crown Court heard how moments after killing her children, Lupidi told a member of staff at the refuge: "It's his fault. Now he has a reason to kill me. If I can't have them, he can't have them either. He was coming to get me. I had to do this." A post-mortem of Jasmine and Evelyn revealed both had died after being stabbed a total of nine times each.
Lupidi admitted killing her daughters but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The jury did not accept this and found her guilty of two counts of murder after deliberating for 90 minutes.
Upon sentencing, Judge Justice Edis told Lupidi she murdered her daughters following a "spasm of violence triggered by a weekend of violent arguments" with Weaver. He added: "You had formed a delusional belief that you were in danger of being killed and that you were going to be abandoned and that you would not see the children again.
"This is a crime that speaks of rage and I sentence you on the basis that you killed them in anger and out of a desire for revenge. Even a week later you were telling the prison medical staff that the most important thing was that Carl Weaver was suffering."
Detective Inspector Richard Holmes, who led the investigation, said: "This has been a tragic case of Evelyn and Jasmine, whose young lives were so cruelly and needlessly taken by their mother.
"The reasons for her drastic actions may never be fully known, but she will now have some time to consider the consequences and I hope that the families of Evelyn and Jasmine can find some comfort in this verdict."
In a statement, the family of Evelyn and Jasmine added: "We have been left utterly devastated by the tragic events of last November. We were preparing to celebrate Evelyn and Jasmine's christening with their great-grandparents, who had flown in from Italy for the special occasion.
"It should have been a joyous time but instead Evelyn and Jasmine were cruelly taken away from us. We will all remember that day. Our lives are now filled with sorrow and our broken hearts will never heal.
"The girls were typical toddlers always wanting to play, always smiling and happy but never that far from being mischievous. They have been robbed of their precious lives and we as a family have been robbed of the opportunity to see those beautiful little girls grow into beautiful young women. They were loved deeply and are missed terribly."