A former science teacher has been jailed for at least 18 years after drowning her three-year-old daughter in a bath when her marriage broke down.
Claire Colebourn was handed the life sentence with the minimum term at Winchester Crown Court today after a jury deliberated for less than three hours on Friday before returning a unanimous verdict.
The court heard Colebourn hit “rock bottom” after her high-flying husband Michael ended their 16-year-relationship.
She woke their daughter Bethan at their home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, in the early hours of October 19 2017, led her to the bath and held her body under the water before making multiple suicide attempts.
The ex-sixth form biology teacher was discovered by her mother about 14 hours later in a diabetic coma.
Colebourn, dressed in a black jacket and wearing glasses, rubbed her temples with her hands, shook her head and looked at the floor as details of her crimes were detailed to the court.
She did not react when handed the sentence.
Mrs Justice Johannah Cutts told the 36-year-old: “She (Bethan) was clearly a beautiful little girl who was full of life.
“She had everything to live for.
“You were her mother, you were responsible for her care and her wellbeing.”
Colebourn planned to end Bethan’s life, set an alarm to “carry out the act” and altered her will the next day, the court heard.
During the eight-day trial, the jury of five women and six men were told she initially denied all memory of the incident, but later recalled how Bethan agreed to have a bath in the middle of the night at her mother’s instruction, telling police: “Sadly, my little girl trusted me completely.”