Singaporeans parents planned to kill their daughters, Australian prosecutor says

A Singaporean couple fed 120 sleeping pills to each of their two young daughters in a failed murder-suicide plot, a prosecutor told an Australian court Tuesday.

The parents, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were arrested in March 2005 and charged with two counts of administering poison with intent to murder the sisters, aged six and seven.

They have pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness.

Appearing before Sydney's Downing Center District Court, prosecutor Adrian Robertson said the couple had been stockpiling the sleeping pills since they arrived in Australia on 12-month visitor visas in August 2004.

He said the parents were distraught over an outstanding indecent exposure charge against the father in Singapore and felt that "murder suicide was the only alternative available to them."

When the younger child began having a seizure, the parents rushed both girls to a nearby hospital where the father allegedly told a doctor that "life is no good" and that the whole family was "supposed to die tonight," Robertson said in court, reports AP.

Both girls survived the alleged poisoning. Nothing was said in court about how the parents planned to kill themselves.

It was not immediately clear what penalty the couple face if convicted in the trial, which was being held before a judge but no jury.