Mum jailed for murder of Fordingbridge toddler

Mum jailed for murder of Fordingbridge toddler

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 10:52am 18th March 2019. (Updated at 11:52am 18th March 2019)

4 minute read

Claire Colebourn has been sentenced to life in prison for 3 year old Bethan's death, with a minimum term of 18 years.

The 36 year old was convicted of murder on Friday (March 15th) and has today been sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.

Claire Colebourn drowned her daughter in a bath at their home on Whitsbury Road in Fordingbridge, before attempting suicide in October 2017.

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

Claire Colebourn (Hampshire Constabulary)
Claire Colebourn has been sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison

Bethan was taken to Salisbury District Hospital, but couldn't be saved.


In a statement, released via Hampshire Police, Bethan's dad Michael Colebourn said: 

“There are no words to describe the past 18 months. The one thing in my life that gave me purpose has gone.

“My beautiful daughter has been taken from me in such a cold and callous manner at the very hands of the one other person that should have protected her and kept her safe.

“The loss of Bethan has had a huge impact on so many people: family, friends, and all that knew her. She was such a special little girl – bringing so much joy to all their lives.

“Throughout the criminal trial, I and all those that loved Bethan have had to endure the heartbreak of listening to her last moments. I have also had to suffer endless unfounded allegations and lies made against me with no opportunity to respond.

“I desperately miss being a daddy – we would have such great times together; Bethan’s laugh was infectious and her energy was endless. There is not a second in the day that goes by that I am not thinking about her.

"Bethan was my world and being her daddy made me so proud. I miss her so much.”

In sentencing Claire Colebourn to a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years, the judge Mrs Justice Johannah Cutts said:

"(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."

Winchester Crown Court 2 (Mike Draper)
Claire Colebourn was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court today (March 18th)

Detective Inspector Lee Macarthur from Hampshire Police said:

“All our thoughts are with Bethan’s family on this very difficult day.

“Claire Colebourn has taken the life of her own child, which has had a devastating impact on the rest of her family.

“Today’s outcome concludes this very sad investigation. I would like to thank all those involved – from the officers and paramedics who attended the harrowing scene that night, to the investigation team that has worked diligently on this case ever since, piecing together the events surrounding Bethan’s tragic murder.”

An NSPCC spokesperson said:

"Colebourn’s cruel actions not only robbed Bethan of her young life but also her family of the chance of seeing her grow up.

“Young children are entirely dependent on their parents, trusting them implicitly and looking to them for love and protection.

“We all have a responsibility to look out for the welfare of children. Reporting any concerns early could potentially save a child’s life.”

Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Spire FM

© Copyright 2020 Spire FM, A UKRD group company