London - A sex-obsessed mother was on Thursday convicted of suffocating her two daughters less than three weeks apart after they "got in the way" of her sordid lifestyle.
A jury took less than six hours to find Louise Porton, 23, guilty of murdering three-year-old Lexi Draper, before targeting her 16-month-old sister Scarlett Vaughan just 18 days later.
The part-time model blinked but showed little emotion as she was told she faced a life term when she is sentenced today.
The four-week trial heard Porton, who offered men she met online nude photographs or sex for cash, had tried to kill Lexi twice before succeeding in January 2018.
After the second attempt, she dialled 999 to report the child fitting but paramedics arrived to find Lexi in a "deep state of unconsciousness".
During that hospital admission, jurors heard Porton sent one man a topless photo from a bathroom and agreed to participate in sex acts during a photoshoot if the photographer paid cash into her bank account.
Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC said during the same period, the mother also passed her number to a hospital security guard and went on to exchange 87 messages with him.
Birmingham Crown Court heard extracts from Porton’s WhatsApp messages and internet exchanges with online contacts, including at least one man she met on a dating app.
One message suggested Porton was prepared to have sex with a man in the bedsit she shared with her children but she told him that their liaison would have to be ‘quiet’.
Mr Saxby said: "The overwhelming inference is Lexi and Scarlett died because someone deliberately interfered with their breathing.
"At times, her two children got in the way of her doing what she wanted, when she wanted and with whom she wanted."
He also read a message from Porton’s sister accusing her of leaving her daughters alone to have sex with a van driver in his vehicle.
Porton was even seen making a video call with a man while arranging Lexi’s burial at a funeral home, the trial heard.
Jurors were told how two days later, a social worker had seen Scarlett looking "chatty, alert and happy". But that night, with Scarlett dying in the back seat of her car, Porton was filmed on CCTV stopping to fill up her car with petrol as she drove the child to hospital. She later pulled over in a retail park and dialled 111 to report concern for her ‘sleeping’ child.
A paramedic dispatched to the scene described Scarlett’s body as "freezing" and 35 minutes later the toddler was pronounced dead at University Hospital in Coventry.
In a poignant video released after the verdict, Porton was seen calmly ushering the girls into flats in Rugby, Warwickshire, where the family had been housed by the local authority, the night before she killed Lexi. Scarlett is then seen peering back through a glass door before she disappears inside.
A former landlady told police how she would often look after the girls as Porton "would do whatever she could" not to have her daughters around.
Jurors heard that both children had symptoms consistent with deliberate airway obstruction and Scarlett had signs of recent bleeding in her neck tissue, suggestive of neck compression.
Porton moved from Walsall to Rugby to try to deny their father Chris Draper, 25, contact. Jurors were told that she gave Scarlett the surname of another boyfriend even though the girls were full sisters.
Mr Draper was in court to see Porton convicted of two counts of murder. In a statement read by a police officer, he said his only comfort was that his daughters were now together again. A former friend of Porton’s told the Mail how she would routinely ‘dump’ her children on her father at the weekends to go out drinking.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "He would go down every weekend to have the kids and she would go out on the town. It was all clubbing, clubbing, clubbing.
"She was a bad mum and she deserves everything she gets."
After the case, Detective Superintendent Pete Hill, of Warwickshire Police, said: "I will never be able to understand why Louise Porton murdered her children.
She has lied repeatedly to friends, family and professionals. At no point has she ever shown any real signs of emotion.’