A mother has been found guilty of murdering her two young children.

The jury returned unanimous verdicts in the case of Samira Lupidi, 24, who has been on trial at Bradford Crown Court after stabbing her two daughters, three-year-old Evelyn Lupidi and 17-month-old Jasmine Weaver, to death on November 17 last year.

She had denied murder but had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Samira Lupidi, who is on trial accused of murdering her two young daughters

Samira Lupidi who was found guilty of murdering her two young daughters 

Lupidi was tearful as the verdicts were returned shortly before 1pm today . 

This afternoon, the trial judge Mr Justice Edis sentenced her to life imprisonment and ordered that she spend a minimum of 24 years behind bars. 

During the trial, the jury heard Lupidi ran out of her room at a hostel in Bradford with her hands smeared in blood saying "I killed them, I hurt them".

Following the stabbings, she is also said to have said: "If I can’t have them, he can’t have them either", referring to her then partner, Carl Weaver, who she shared a home with in Church Lane, Heckmondwike.

Lupidi did not give any evidence in her own defence, but the jury heard she had a borderline personality disorder and was suffering from a "complete misinterpretation of reality" at the time of the murders.

Lupidi sat in tears with her head in her hands in the dock, but was not present when Mr Justice Edis returned this afternoon to sentence her, having been granted permission to be absent due to "concerns over her mental state".

Addressing her as though she were in the dock, he sentenced Lupidi in her absence to a minimum of 24 years in prison.

"You killed them in a violent rage to which a moderate to severe depressive illness contributed and lowered your degree of culpability," he said. 

"You killed Evelyn first and then Jasmine.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Evelyn Lupidi (left) and her sister Jasmine Weaver

"Jasmine, you later said, had been crying while you were killing her sister in a way she had never cried before. 

"They were each killed with nine violent blows to the chest with a large knife. 

"It does not take much imagination to know what happened in that dreadful scene. 

"These were very grave murders. There were two victims and they were both as vulnerable as anyone can be. They trusted you. 

"The Weaver family, especially Carl the girls' father, has suffered dreadfully because of the loss of these two beautiful girls and their lives, I am sure, will never be the same again.

"These crimes will never be forgotten." 

Justice Edis said Lupidi had been a very good mother to her children, and cared for them very well prior to the incident. 

"All the evidence positively shows that these children were the centre of your life, and that you loved them," he said. 

"You have, in addition to ending these two lives and ruining so many others, destroyed your own."

He said that he believed Lupidi had killed the children in a "spasm of violence", triggered by a weekend of violent arguments with Mr Weaver and other family members. 

He described her as "friendless in a foreign country", who due to her delusions, had come to regard the Weaver family as the "enemy".

A week after the murders, Lupidi was said to have told prison medical staff that the most important thing was that Mr Weaver was "suffering."

Mr Justice Edis said: "You had formed a delusional belief that you were in danger of being killed and that you were going to be abandoned and that would not see the children again. 

"This was an aspect of your depressive illness.

"You reacted to this very difficult situation by saying "If I cannot have them, neither can he", and quite deliberately and over a significant period of time killing them intending that they should both die.

"That is why you were convicted of murder. 

"This is a crime which speaks of rage and I sentence you on the basis that you killed them in anger and out of a desire for revenge. 

"This passion was not long-lasting, but it lasted long enough to see them both dead.

"In the end, humanity requires an allowance to be made for the fact that you killed the things you loved in a temporary rage which will have everlasting and disastrous consequences for you."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The children's grandfather Peter Weaver speaks outside Bradford Crown Court with Det Ch Insp Richard Holmes (left)

Speaking outside the court after Lupidi was sentenced, the children's grandfather Peter Weaver said: “We have been left utterly devastated by the events last November.

"We were preparing to celebrate Evelyn and Jasmine’s christening with their grandparents who had flown in from Italy for the special occasion.

"It should have been a joyous time but instead Evelyn and Jasmine were cruelly taken away from us and we will all remember that day.

"Our lives are now filled with sorrow and our broken hearts will never heal." 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Samira Lupidi after her arrest

Also speaking outside the court, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Holmes, said: “This has been a tragic case and one which has had a devastating impact on all those involved, not least the family of Evelyn and Jasmine, whose lives were cut so tragically short.

"We may never know the reason why Miss Lupidi took the tragic action she took last November, but due to the length of sentence that’s been passed today she will have time to consider the consequences of her actions, and I hope that that sentence will provide some level of solace and comfort for the family of Evelyn and Jasmine in such a desperate time for them.”