Accused Mother Denies Any Part In Deaths

23 July 2019, 14:05 | Updated: 23 July 2019, 14:11

merseyside police

A woman accused of murdering her two young daughters has told a court she loved them both and was not responsible for their deaths.

Louise Porton, 23, told jurors that three-year-old Lexi Draper and 17-month-old Scarlett Vaughan were "funny" and she had tried to provide them with whatever they wanted.

During the fourth week of her trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Porton denied doing anything to cause Lexi to have a fit before the toddler's death in January last year.

The part-time model, formerly of Beechwood Court, Rugby, Warwickshire, is alleged to have been "calm and emotionless" following the death of her younger child less than three weeks later.

Asked by defence barrister Andrew Smith QC what she had enjoyed most about being a parent, Porton said of her daughters: "They were always giving me something to do - they were funny, always making me laugh.

"I would take them to places, play parks, and try to give them everything they wanted."

Asked how easy she had found being a parent, Porton replied: "It's not one of the easiest things to do but it was something I could cope at."

During her evidence, Porton said she had loved both children and answered "No" when asked if she regretted having either of her daughters.

Prosecutors claim Porton suffocated Lexi in the early hours of January 15 last year, and was overheard laughing at a funeral parlour two days before killing Scarlett on February 1.

Questioned about web searches made in the hours before Lexi died, including one asking how long parts of a dead body took to go cold, Porton said she had not been thinking about harming either of her children.

Lexi was pronounced dead by paramedics after Porton dialled 999 at 12.50am on January 15.

Explaining why she had dialled 999, Porton said: "It didn't seem like she was breathing when I went to put the quilt on her."

Mr Smith then asked Porton: "Had you done anything to Lexi for her to be in that condition?"

Porton responded: "No."

Porton also stated that Scarlett was alive when she left a hotel room in Rugby to drive her to hospital on February 1, and that she did not know how blood linked to the youngster came to be on a pillow in their room.

The Crown alleges that Lexi had been dead for some time before the 999 call was made.

Jurors have also heard claims that Scarlett was dead when Porton dialled 111 at 10.20pm on February 1, saying her surviving daughter was asleep in her car near a retail park.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC said Scarlett was described as being completely lifeless after paramedics arrived at the scene eight or nine minutes later.

Porton, wearing grey jeans and a grey cardigan in the witness box, said she had dialled 111 rather than 999 because Scarlett's condition did not seem urgent.

During her evidence, Porton, who was waiting for a benefits payment, agreed that she had sent a message to a photographer asking for money in return for engaging in sexual acts during a photoshoot.

Prosecutors allege that both girls' deaths were consistent with deliberate airway obstruction and that the children "got in the way of (Porton) doing what she wanted, when she wanted and with whom she wanted".