Monster mum who killed sons ‘competent and caring’ before murders, report finds

The twisted murder of two brothers by their monster mum “could not have been predicted”, a report has found.

Evil Sarah Barrass, 35, and her half-brother, Brandon Machin, 39, were jailed for life last year after killing their two elder sons in Sheffield, South Yorks.

The sick pair throttled Blake, 14 and Tristan, 13, before attempting to kill four more of their kids at their family home.

The vile killers tried to poison their children in the hours before the strangling.

In a serious case review, published today, professionals involved with the family described Barrass as “a loving, caring and competent mother".

The report, commissioned by Sheffield Children's Safeguarding Partnership, found none of the agencies who had contact with Barrass could have predicted what happened.

The report revealed the murderous mum struggled to cope with the teens' behaviour and complained her three-bed council house was too small to keep her children apart.

The findings, which cleared police and social services of any wrongdoing, also said Barrass was “anxious” about her half-brother being revealed as the children's dad when she hatched the plot to murder them.

Author Alex Walters said: "The deaths of these two children is a tragedy and there is no evidence from this review process that any of the practitioners and agencies involved with the family could have predicted the actions taken by their parents.

"This review has seen significant evidence of effective and caring practice with the children by all agencies involved with the family."

The review said: "Practitioners saw (Barrass) as a loving, caring and competent mother.

"Professionals' view of mother's parenting was overwhelmingly positive and she was seen as a competent, caring and articulate parent who supported and fought hard for her children's access to appropriate support and help.

  • Man accused of killing two women, storing bodies in freezer as jury considers verdict

"She frequently self-referred to support services and the police."

Sheffield Crown Court heard last year that the killer couple colluded to strangle the teenage brothers before ensuring their deaths by placing bin bags over their heads.

Of the other children they planned to murder, two of the kids were under three-years-old.

The twisted pair forced all the children to take tablets gathered from their family home.

The court heard the couple wanted the concoction of pills to kill all four of the youngsters.

  • Ex-prison guard jailed for smuggling coke and cannabis in her underwear for inmate

But when that botched attempt fell through, they killed the teenagers before attempting to drown one of the younger ones in a bath.

Prosecutors said the family was, to the outside world, a “household of a long single mum with six children, supported by her brother”.

But the reality was far darker.

No social service professional were aware that Barrass and her brother were in a relationship, and he was the father of all six of the kids.

  • Truck driver pleads guilty to manslaughter of 39 migrants found dead in lorry in Essex

The court heard: "The children believed and even told officers at the scene that their father was dead, having died in the Second World War."

A judge was told that the mother-of-six was heard repeatedly making remarks such as "I gave you life, I can take it away" to the children.

The court heard that she had sought help from the local authority with the youngsters, texting a friend: "I've thought of every possible solution to this mess.

"Mass murder, putting them all in care, checking in to the local nut house.

"I love my kids too much to kill them, I can't put them into care for the same reason."

David Ashcroft, chair of Sheffield Children's Safeguarding Partnership, said the review had found "significant evidence of effective and caring practice for the children by all agencies involved with the family".

He added: "However, as with any review, the process of reflection has identified some areas where the current systems and processes could be improved."

Areas highlighted for review included improving the understanding of and response to harmful sexual behaviour; reinforcing the need to take a "holistic view" of a family's engagement with the authorities; and paying more attention to male carers.

Source: Read Full Article