FULL TEXT: A woman who suffocated three of her four children was yesterday sent to Broadmoor for an indefinite time. At Manchester Crown Court, psychiatrists said she was a "hysterical psychopath.”
Mrs Valerie Ridyard, aged 25, of Woodvale Drive, Bolton, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Darren, aged five months, Michael, aged three, and Barbara, aged four, on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Her pleas of not guilty to murder were accepted. The children died in separate incidents between October 1970 and January 1971.
Mr Arthur Preatt, QC, prosecuting, said the facts were short and tragic. There had been a history of conduct by Mrs Ridyard renting in illness to the children through partial suffocation and poisoning.
The judge, Mr Justice Bristow, said: " It is clear that she requires to be in a safe place, from her own points of view, as, well as that of society."
[“3 children smothered,” The Guardian (London, England), Jun. 10, 1971, p. 6]
For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.