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Mum’s appeal to cut jail sentence fails
9:49am Thursday 21st February 2013 in Bury
A DESPERATE mother who stabbed her daughter to death in their Bury home had an appeal against the length of her 12-year jail sentence rejected by top judges.
Former nurse Dawn Makin hatched a plan to kill herself and four-year-old Chloe after falling victim to crippling debts and increasing social isolation, London’s Appeal Court heard last week.
The 35-year-old had lost her job, but pretended to her family that she was still working, and had become increasingly desperate in the weeks before the killing, said Mr Justice Eder.
One of the final straws came when she was let down by a former lover on Valentine’s Day, which she “took very badly”, the court heard.
Makin left a series of suicide notes around her home in Lea Mount Drive, Fairfield, before trying to kill herself with a cocktail of anti-freeze and paracetamol.
Her mother and a neighbour grew increasingly anxious about her welfare and ended up breaking into her home to discover a scene of pure carnage behind the closed doors.
Makin had stabbed Chloe — a pupil at St Joseph and St Bede’s RC Primary School — to death, said the judge, and “defensive wounds” on the child’s arms indicated that she had tried to fight back when her mother attacked her.
Afterwards, Makin washed her daughter’s bloodstained clothes and dressed her in clean pyjamas and a dressing gown — before laying her body out next to her, surrounded by her teddies.
Makin’s mother was confronted by the spectacle of Makin and Chloe lying side by side, with Makin deeply unconscious.
Makin survived with massive injuries which have left her wheelchair-bound, and she was jailed for 12 years at Preston Crown Court in August last year after admitting manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
Challenging her sentence, her lawyers claimed it was a case of “extended suicide” and the jail term took insufficient account of her disturbed state of mind at the time.
Mr Justice Eder, sitting with Lord Justice Leveson and Judge Michael Stokes QC, said Makin’s crime was “truly appalling”, noting that she had inflicted “horrific injuries” on her own daughter.
Although Makin was acutely depressed at the time she had the “necessary intention to kill”, the judge concluded.
“We don’t consider it is arguable that the sentence was wrong in principle or manifestly excessive.”