Ex-teacher jailed for life for drowning daughter in bath

Bethan Colebourn

Three-year-old Bethan Colebourn who was drowned in a bath

Monday, March 18, 2019

A former teacher has been jailed for at least 18 years for drowning her three-year-old daughter in a bath.

Claire Coleburn was handed the life sentence with the minimum term today at Winchester Crown Court, with a jury deliberating for less than three hours on Friday before returning a unanimous verdict.

The court heard that Colebourn had hit "rock bottom" after her husband ended their 16-year relationship.

Claire Coleburn has been sentenced to life in prison

Just over a month later, on the morning of October 19, 2017 she drowned daughter Bethan by holding her body underwater at their Hampshire home before attempting suicide.

The ex-sixth form biology teacher was later discovered by her mother about 14 hours later in a diabetic coma.

The court heard that Colebourn planned to end Bethan's life, set an alarm to "carry out the act" and altered her will the next day.



She admitted killing Bethan, and claimed she wanted to "save" and "protect" her from her father Michael - who Colebourn had met at university and is now the chief executive of luxury marine interior company Trimline.

The NSPCC said it was a "desperately sad case" and Colebourn "failed her daughter in the worst possible way".

Colebourn has spent nearly a year in custody already and this will be deducted from the minimum term she must serve before facing the parole board who will determine whether she is ever released.