An “emotionless” mother has been jailed for life for killing her two young daughters after they “got in the way” of her sex life.
Louise Porton had denied killing three-year-old Lexi Draper and 17-month-old Scarlett Vaughan just over two weeks later but was found guilty by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday.
The 23-year-old, described as “calm and emotionless”, was handed a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 32 years in jail at the same court on Friday.
During her five-week-trial, jurors heard that Porton, formerly of Skiddaw, Rugby, Warwickshire, had accepted 41 friend requests on a dating app just a day after Lexi died.
When the toddler was ill in hospital, just over a week before she died, Porton - who described herself as a model - had taken topless photos in the toilets and was arranging to perform sex acts in exchange for money with a man she had met through a website.
Evidence showed that Porton had carried out damning internet searches including: “Why did my 3 year(-old) stop breathing”, and “Why do toddler having a fit stop them breathing” in early January 2018.
Police said it was “clear from the evidence” of those searches and Lexi’s two hospital admissions in January 2018 that Porton had tried to kill her daughter twice before eventually succeeding.
She suffocated Lexi in the early hours of January 15 last year and was heard “laughing” at a funeral parlour two days before killing Scarlett just over two weeks later, on February 1.
During the trial, prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC told jurors: “The overwhelming inference is Lexi and Scarlett died because someone deliberately interfered with their breathing.
“At times, her two children got in the way of her doing what she wanted, when she wanted and with whom she wanted.”
Jailing Porton, Mrs Justice Yip described her actions as "evil" and "calculated", and told her: "These were blameless young children who were plainly vulnerable and ought to have been able to rely on their mother to protect and nurture them.
"Instead you took their young lives away."
The girls' father, Chris Draper, who never met Scarlett, said their deaths had left him "broken", with "nothing to live for".
In a victim impact statement read to the court, he said: "I sit and think, day and night, and I can't understand why my two little girls were taken away because Louise wanted to sleep around.
He said he ‘hated’ the children’s mother, adding: "No punishment will ever be enough, as I will never get my daughters back."