Woman who drowned daughter, 4, then burnt her body convicted

Carly Ann Harris and her late daughter Amelia.

The mum of a schizophrenic woman who drowned her four-year-old daughter and set her body on fire has said she is "not a monster" after she was found not guilty of murder.

Carly Ann Harris, 38, believed she was sacrificing her pretty, brown-haired daughter Amelia "to save the world", the court was told.

In the grip of a profound mental disorder, the mum believed she was a fallen angel and needed to make the sacrifice to prove her faith to god.

Today she was acquitted on the basis of insanity but handed an indefinite hospital order.

Speaking outside court, Harris’s mother Jacqui Harris, who was visibly upset, told Wales Online: “It’s bittersweet... I am devastated and beyond words.

“I lost Amelia and I lost Carly. I have lost my life. I think it is the right verdict and the judge was decent and kind. He has done the right thing.

“I’ve gone beyond tears. She is my daughter and I am devastated and I have lost my daughter.

“All because one doctor wouldn’t take 10 minutes to talk to her.”

Planned murder

On the day of she killed her daughter on June 8 this year, a friend asked if she and Amelia wanted to visit a play centre the next day.

Harris replied: “I can’t come tomorrow. I haven’t got Amelia.”

Asked what she meant, the defendant said her daughter would be “in heaven”.

Tributes left at the scene of the killing in June.

That fateful night, her daughter was eating sweets on the sofa.

Her mum carried her upstairs and told her: “You’re going to see the angels. See you in heaven.”

Just after 9pm, a neighbour reported hearing a “panicked” child’s voice screaming.

She drowned her child in the bath and then covered her body in a white sheet, before taking her into the garden and setting fire to her.

Her “charred” body would later be found under sheets on a coffee table in the garden.

An hour later, at around 10pm, Harris appeared and said: “Amelia has gone to heaven. Don’t go out the back, she’s gone to heaven. She’s coming back on Sunday.”

Police were called to the scene at 10.15pm. As an officer approached Harris, she held out her hands to be handcuffed and said: “The angels told me to do it. Just arrest me, it’s okay.”

She was given a police caution and replied: “Jesus told me to do it. She will be okay. Trust me. I’m not crazy. I promise you I wouldn’t do that to my only girl if she wasn’t returning.”

The defendant was taken to Merthyr Tydfil Police Station and said: “I deserve to die. My little girl. The angels said it must be done.”

Harris told the psychiatrist she did not feel like it was a “crazy action” because she was acting according to her soul. She felt she had achieved immortality.

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