'They've been robbed of their precious lives': Tribute to two little girls murdered by their mum

By Euan McLelland

Lupidi stabbed 17-month-old Jasmine Weaver (L) and three-year-old Evelyn Lupidi (R) to death at a women's refuge in Bradford, West Yorkshire last year. Photo: West Yorkshire Police/Guzelian
Lupidi stabbed 17-month-old Jasmine Weaver (L) and three-year-old Evelyn Lupidi (R) to death at a women's refuge in Bradford, West Yorkshire last year. Photo: West Yorkshire Police/Guzelian

A devastated grandfather has paid tribute to his two young granddaughters who were murdered by their 24-year-old mother as they slept, claiming they have been "robbed of their precious lives".

Peter Weaver said the family of 17-month-old Jasmine Weaver and three-year-old Evelyn Lupidi had been left "utterly devastated" after the girls were stabbed to death by their mother Samira Lupid at a women's refuge in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in November last year.

Lupidi was jailed for life this afternoon at Bradford Crown Court by Mr Justice Edis, who said the girls were "both as vulnerable as anyone can be".

Speaking after the case, the girls' grandfather said: "We have been left utterly devastated at the tragic events last November.

"We were preparing to celebrate Evelyn and Jasmine's christening, that should have been a joy, but instead Evelyn and Jasmine were cruelly taken away from us.

"We will all remember that day.

"Our lives are now filled with sorrow and our broken hearts will never heal.

"The girls were typical toddlers, always wanting to play and always happy but never far away from being from being mischievous.

'"They have been robbed of their precious lives and we, as a family, have been robbed of being able to watch these beautiful girls grow into beautiful young women.

"They were loved deeply and are missed terribly."

The jury heard staff at the refuge found Lupidi running out of the flat she had been allocated, shouting that she had 'killed the children' (pictured together). Photo: Facebook
The jury heard staff at the refuge found Lupidi running out of the flat she had been allocated, shouting that she had 'killed the children' (pictured together). Photo: Facebook

Lupidi was told today she must serve a minimum of 24 years in prison after murdering her two young daughters "in a spasm of violence".

She admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denied murdering them.

However, she was found guilty of both killings by a jury of six men and six women after just 90 minutes of deliberation this morning, sobbing uncontrollably as the verdict was announced.

Sentencing Lupidi in her absence after she failed to re-enter the court room this afternoon, the judge acknowledged she was suffering from a depressive disorder at the time of the "violent rage" which led to the killings.

He said: "I believe you killed these children in a spasm of violence triggered by a weekend of violent arguments.

"You had formed a delusional belief that you were in danger of being killed and that you were going to be abandoned and that you would not see the children again."

He continued: "You killed the things you loved in a temporary rage, which will have everlasting and disastrous consequences for you.

"This passion was not long lasting, but it lasted long enough to see them both dead.

"Even a week later you were telling the prison medical staff that the most important thing was that Carl Weaver was suffering."

Lupidi admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denied murdering the girls. Photo: Guzelian Donna Senior/Facebook
Lupidi admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denied murdering the girls. Photo: Guzelian Donna Senior/Facebook

The judge said Lupidi stabbed each of her daughters nine times after arguments continued with her partner by phone.

He said: "You killed Evelyn first and then Jasmine. Jasmine, you say later, had been crying while you were killing her sister in a way she had never cried before.

"They were each killed with nine violent blows to the chest with a large knife.

"It does not take much imagination to know what that dreadful scene and the way in which Jasmine has died has traumatised their father who has only just learned of it.

"These were very grave murders. There were two victims and they were both as vulnerable as anyone could be. They trusted you.

"The Weaver family, especially Carl, the girls' father, has suffered dreadfully because of the loss of these two beautiful girls and their lives, I am sure, will never be the same again."

Mr Edis told the court that Italian Lupidi was friendless and alone in a foreign country and came to see her partner's family as "the enemy".

He said that once she had fallen out with Mr Weaver, she "reacted...by saying: 'If I cannot have them, neither can he'."

The judge continued: "This is a crime that speaks of rage and I sentence you on the basis that you killed them in anger and out of a desire for revenge.

"Even a week later you were telling the prison medical staff that the most important thing was that Carl Weaver was suffering."

He added that he accepted Lupidi was a "good mother" who is genuinely remorseful for what she has done, but that "you have, in ending these two lives and ruining so many others, destroyed your own".

There were shouts of "yes" from the packed public gallery as the guilty verdicts against Lupidi were read out earlier today.

Upon hearing the decision, Lupidi, dressed sombrely in a grey jumper and white shirt with beige trousers, sat in tears with her head bowed. She was offered small comfort by a female security guard.

The week-long trial heard how she and the girls ended up in the refuge after the panicked mother called police to her home in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire.

She told officers that the girls' father - her now former partner Carl Weaver, 31 - slapped her twice the night before and she was scared he was going to kill her.

She claimed she was suffering depression and paranoia as she did not speak English, and lived an isolated life.

The jury heard that the following day staff at the refuge found Lupidi running out of the flat she had been allocated, shouting that she had "killed the children".

Both girls were found on their beds, each with nine stab wounds to the chest.

The court was told the defendant had blood smeared on her hands when she ran from the room.

Lupidi admitted that she killed the girls but claimed she was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time. She provided no evidence during her trial.

But the jury refuted her defence, instead accepting the prosecution's case that she knew what she was doing when she suffocated then stabbed her daughters as they fought and struggled.

The girls' father, a car valet, was falsely accused of domestic violence by his ex, who the jury heard had a "complete misinterpretation of reality".

She feared Mr Weaver was plotting her death and that he wanted to take the girls away from her.

Lupidi had a poor upbringing. Her mother Marietta was an abusive alcoholic and her father Dario treated his daughter as a "scivvy" at home for him and her two brothers.

In a statement read during her trial, Mr Weaver explained how they met via the internet when he was working in Italy.

He went on to say: "Her mother was violent towards all three children and she tried to kill all the children by opening a gas pipe."

Lupidi's father disapproved when his daughter fell pregnant. When Mr Weaver lost his job it was decided the pair would return to England together.

They set up home in Heckmondwike. Lupidi spoke in "broken English" and was isolated having no bank account and no job.

She gave birth to Jasmine on June 26, 2014, with the couple discovering soon after that Evelyn was autistic.

Despite their daughter's problematic behaviour, Mr Weaver said Lupidi always coped and never lost her temper, adding that she was "a wonderful mother".

But she is believed to have thought people were against her and was extremely jealous if Mr Weaver returned home late from work and she would go through his Facebook account.

He said they had heated arguments but he was never physically violent towards her.

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Chief Insp Richard Holmes, who led the investigation, said: "This has been a tragic case and one which has a devastating effect on all these involved, not least the family of Evelyn and Jasmine whose lives were taken so tragically from them.

"We may never know why Miss Lupidi took the tragic actions she did last November but hope that with the length of sentence that's been passed today she'll be able to consider the consequences of her actions.

"We hope that the length of sentence can provide some level of comfort and solace to the family of Evelyn and Jasmine at such a desperate time for them."

- Daily Mail

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