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12 February 2010, 11:40 | Updated: 12 February 2010, 11:48
The mother of two toddlers whose bodies were found in the boot of a car appeared before a crown court judge today charged with their murders.
Relatives sat in the public gallery at Lewes Crown Court as Fiona Donnison faced charges of murdering three-year-old Harry and two-year-old Elise Donnison.
They were found by officers in separate holdalls in the boot of a Nissan carnear the former family home in Heathfield, East Sussex, after Donnison visited alocal police station in a distressed state on January 27.Initial post-mortem examination results revealed the brother and sister diedfrom asphyxia and had been dead for less than 24 hours when their bodies were found.
Flanked by two security guards, blonde Donnison, 43, dressed in a black jacket with gold-coloured buttons, sat head bowed and confirmed only her name during the three-minute preliminary hearing.
There was no application for bail by defence lawyer Stuart Grace and no pleawas indicated on behalf of former City worker Donnison, of Marshwood Road,Lightwater, Surrey.
Judge Richard Brown further remanded her to a medium-secure psychiatric unit at The Dene institution in West Sussex under Section 48 of the Mental Health Act.
He scheduled a plea and case management hearing at the same court on April 23.