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Nurse jailed for killing daughter
A nurse who stabbed her four-year-old daughter to death before attempting to kill herself has been jailed for 12 years.
Dawn Makin, 35, became depressed after she was sacked following allegations that she passed information about patients to a personal injury claims firm. Makin earlier admitted the manslaughter of her daughter, Chloe Burke, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Preston Crown Court heard that she was suffering an "abnormality of mental function" when she stabbed Chloe to death and then drank anti-freeze at their home in Bury, Greater Manchester.
Peter Wright QC, for the prosecution, said: "She was no longer able to form a rational judgment and believed the only way was to kill herself and her daughter."
He said the nurse practitioner lost her job at Moorgate Walk-in Centre in Bury after being accused of passing patient details to her boyfriend, Martin Campbell, who worked for a personal injury claims firm. Makin and Campbell split in January 2011 and following month, on Valentine's Day, she learned she was to be summonsed to court to face data protection charges.
Two days later Makin and her daughter were found when the defendant's mother, Sheila, forced her way into the house with a neighbour. Chloe was lying dead on her mother's bed in clean pyjamas and a dressing gown surrounded by cuddly toys. She had suffered knife injuries to her chest, neck and throat.
Makin was found alive but with serious injuries and rushed to hospital. Mr Wright added: "The defendant had cut her wrist, there was a bottle of anti-freeze on the floor and anti-freeze in a glass nearby. The effect of the anti-freeze was to leave her permanently disabled and confined to a wheelchair."
He said a number of suicide notes were found and also "an apology". She also wrote on a picture of her daughter: "I'm so sorry I've taken her away from you all but I couldn't leave her with no money, that would be too cruel. Sorry."
Passing sentence, Judge Anthony Russell QC, the Recorder of Preston, said the facts of the case were "appalling". He jailed Makin for 12 years and ordered she serve at least six years before she can be released on parole.
Makin's solicitor, standing beside the defendant's mother on the steps of the court building, said: "Words cannot describe the utter despair that would drive a mother to take the life of her only child and thereafter attempt to take her own. Equally, words fail to describe the desolation each day since the terrible tragedy has brought and continues to bring to Dawn Makin and her family. This was a catastrophic crime committed by a mother who was seriously mentally deranged."