20/06/2012 11:46 BST | Updated 20/06/2012 11:47 BST

Lesley Dunford Jailed For Smothering Three-Year-Old Daughter

A woman has been jailed for seven years after being found guilty of smothering her three-year-old daughter to death, six months after her baby son also died.

A judge said Lesley Dunford, 33, went from "carer to killer" when she ended the life of Lucy Dunford.

Dunford inflicted fatal injuries on Lucy, who was found with bruising under her skin around her shoulders and neck.

The toddler also had a cut above her left eyebrow which jurors heard could have been caused by hitting a hard surface such as the headboard of a bed.

Dunford, of Rydal Mews, Windermere Close, Exeter, had denied murdering Lucy at the former family home in Pelwood Road, Camber, near Rye, East Sussex, on 2 February, 2004.

Jurors at Lewes Crown Court found her guilty of manslaughter but cleared her of murder.

Lucy's death occurred on the same day that Dunford's husband, Wayne, 54, had returned to work following a 19-month spell of unemployment.

Three post-mortem examinations were carried out on the youngster and each found she died from asphyxia caused by the forced blockage of her airways.

It also happened six months after the death of their seven-month-old son Harley, who was found dead in his cot at their home on 3 August 2003.