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  • Bedtime horror claims
  • By Elissa Hunt
  • Herald Sun
  • 09/08/2006 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: admin ( 61 articles in 2006 )
A WOMAN drugged her two boys before smothering and strangling them in their beds, Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard yesterday.

Matthew Fitchett, 9, woke up delirious and struggled with his mother as she used a pillow and stocking to end his life, court documents allege.

The horrific allegations about how Matthew and his older brother, Thomas, 11, died last September emerged as Donna Fitchett faced Melbourne Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Mrs Fitchett, 47, pleaded not guilty to the murder of her young sons at the family's Balwyn North home.

The Boroondara Park Primary School students were found by their father, David, when he got home from work.

A summary tendered to the court alleges Mrs Fitchett told medical officers she "wanted the boys to be asleep so they would not know it was their mother doing it to them".

"They were happy this morning and I knew that today was the day," she allegedly said.

As Mrs Fitchett was treated for cuts, allegedly self-inflicted, she said her husband had come home early.

She said, "I wasn't supposed to live," the summary alleges.

Mrs Fitchett allegedly admitted she could not face the idea of Thomas waking as Matthew had done, so she smothered and strangled him too.

According the police summary, Mr Fitchett came home to find his wife dazed and in her underwear, claiming that the boys were at a friend's house.

But soon afterwards he found his eldest son's cold body in bed.

He then found Matthew and called an ambulance.

Mrs Fitchett told staff at Box Hill Hospital she had given Rohypnol and Valium to them.

They "would be safer and at peace now", she allegedly told medical staff who treated her.

Witnesses claim Mrs Fitchett earlier told them she was leaving her husband, and she began giving away her jewellery and other personal items.

She cleaned the house and displayed photos of the boys on the TV cabinet.

She also told her sister she was upset because Thomas had wanted to stay with his father, police allege.

Mrs Fitchett's lawyer, Arna Marjanovic, said she had real fears about her client's mental health and was reluctant to have her in the courtroom.

When the former nurse appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court, she was gaunt and remained mute when asked for her plea to the charges.

Pleas of not guilty were entered on her behalf.

Magistrate Lisa Hannan found there was enough evidence to send her for trial and remanded her in custody to appear at the Supreme Court in October.

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