A MUM has been found guilty of murdering her three-year-old daughter after the breakdown of her marriage.

Claire Colebourn, 36, drowned Bethan in the bath at the family's home in Whitsbury Road, Fordingbridge in the early hours of October 19 2017.

Bournemouth Echo:

Her husband Michael had left the marital home around a month earlier.

Colebourn, a former biology teacher, did not react after jurors returned their verdict at Winchester Crown Court on Friday afternoon. There was silence in the public gallery.

Bournemouth Echo:

The five women and six men had deliberated for around two-and-a-half hours following an eight-day trial.

Colebourn will be sentenced on Monday morning.

The court heard the defendant hit "rock bottom" after her husband ended their 16-year-relationship.

On the day of the murder, she woke Bethan in the early hours of the morning, led her to the bath and drowned her. 

Bournemouth Echo:

She was discovered by her mother about 14 hours later in a diabetic coma.

The former sixth form teacher initially denied all memory of the incident, but later told police: "Sadly, my little girl trusted me completely."

Colebourn admitted she killed Bethan but said she only wanted to "save" her from the little girl's father.

Bournemouth Echo:

Jurors rejected her account, delivered during a fraught and emotional day's evidence from the witness box on Wednesday.

Colebourn sobbed "I need to get out" and leapt from her seat in the dock as prosecutor Kerry Maylin said she had made a "full confession" to police six months after Bethan died.

During the interview, Colebourn allegedly said she intended to kill herself as her domestic situation was getting "worse and worse". 

It had been heard she wrongly believed her former husband, 38, was having an affair with a work colleague.

Bournemouth Echo:

Ms Maylin claimed Colebourn told police: "Bethan drowned and I am responsible for her death. She drowned and I am responsible, fully responsible.

"I was there, I held her under the water.

"I woke up, I went upstairs, I think Bethan was waking and I ran a bath. [Bethan] went in and I held her under the water's surface.

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"Why did I do that? Because I didn't want her to go anywhere near her father. Whether that was right or wrong, that is desperate times for you."