A half brother and sister who had six children together have been jailed for murdering two of them fearing they were about to be taken into care.
Incestuous Sarah Barrass, 35, and Brandon Machin, 39, were branded ‘evil’ in court today as they were told they would serve at least 35 years behind bars.
They plotted to take the lives of all six of their children but only succeeded in murdering the oldest two, Tristan, 13, and Blake, 14. Barrass strangled Tristan with a dressing gown cord at their home in Sheffield on May 24 while Machin used his bare hands to throttle Blake.
They then put binbags over their heads to make sure they were dead. They each admitted two counts of murder, conspiracy to murder six children and five counts of attempted murder.
Mr Justice Goss told Barrass: ‘You considered your love for them and fear of being parted from them entitled you to take their lives as well as your own.’
Outlining the case, prosecutor Kama Melly QC said the pair hatched the horrific plan because they feared the children were going to be taken into care.
The court heard that Barrass had also threatened her children in the past. ‘Visitors to Miss Barrass’s house would hear her tell the boys “I gave you life, I can take it away”,’ the prosecutor said. ‘Speaking to the boys in that way was described as an everyday thing.’