Crown prosecutors have accepted the manslaughter pleas of a New Malden mother accused of killing her three disabled children.

Tania Clarence, 42, had been charged with the murder of twins Ben and Max, 3, and Olivia, 4, at their home in Thetford Road between April 20 and 23 this year.

But at the Old Bailey this morning, the murder charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service. 

Zoe Johnson QC, prosecuting, told the court that two psychiatrists had examined Clarence.

She said: "Both psychiatrists agree that when Tania Clarence killed her three children she was suffering from a major depressive episode which impaired her ability to form a rational judgement."

Surrey Comet: A police officer places flowers in the driveway of the family home

A police officer places floral tributes outside the Clarences' Thetford Road home (April)

Jeff Sturman, defending, said Mrs Clarence found caring for her three disabled children, who had spinal muscular atrophy, "exhausting, distressing [and] debilitating."

She "bitterly regretted" killing them, he added.

Clarence did not attend the hearing, but her husband Gary Clarence, a director at Investec bank, was in the courtroom.

Originally from South Africa, the Clarence family moved to New Malden from Durnsford Avenue in Wimbledon last year.

Surrey Comet:

The Clarence's home in Thetford Road, New Malden

On April 22 this year, Tania Clarence was arrested on suspicion of murder after the children's bodies were discovered at their family's five bedroom home. 

Her husband was back in South Africa with their eldest child at the time. 

Clarence was initially taken to hospital for treatment for cuts, before being charged with murder two days later. 

She was remanded to a secure hospital under the Mental Health Act. 

Mrs Clarence will be sentenced at a hearing on Friday, November 14.