A mother killed her two young daughters then took her own life, saying it was 'in their best interests' as she thought they'd been 'brought into a corrupt world'.
Tiffany Stevens, 27, was found dead next to three-year-old Casey-Lea Taylor, 3, and Darcey Stevens, 18 months, in January 2019.
An inquest at Bolton Coroners Court heard the youngsters had drunk "massive amounts" of methadone, while their mother had a fatal level of morphine in her system and had injected insulin and methadone.
In a suicide note found at the family's home in Bolton, Lancashire, Stevens had written: "I have chosen to kill us in my children's best interests."
The inquest heard that the young mother had become convinced that she had brought her daughters into a corrupt world.
Just six weeks before their deaths, she had made a suicide pact with another woman she had met while she was growing up in care but when they met up at a hotel the other woman pulled out because Stevens had her daughters with her.
The inquest, which saw the coroner rule that Stevens murdered her two young daughters and then killed herself, heard that relatives became concerned that they had been unable to contact her for a week and so entered the house through a back door.
In a statement, paramedic Kirsty Ogden told how she found Tiffany and Casey-Lea lying on a mattress on the living room floor underneath a duvet. Both were dead. Darcey was found dead in a buggy by the front door.
Home office pathologist Dr Phillip Lumb told the court that the family had probably been dead for about a week.
The inquest heard that toxicology tests showed that Darcey died from an amount of methadone enough to prove fatal to an adult.
Casey-Lea had also been given methadone and had been injected in her abdomen with insulin. Tramadol and morphine were also found in her system.
As well as morphine, insulin and methadone, Tramadol and Pregabalin were also found in their mother's system. None of the drugs had been prescribed to her.
Dr Lumb told the court that the drugs she and her daughters had taken would have rendered them unconscious before death, adding: "I don't think there would be any pain or suffering."
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.
Watch: How the world could be better after COVID