A mother who spent the past 18 years behind bars after killing her two young children has been released from jail.
Louise Anne Scotchmer, from Western Australia, was accused of using a blanket to smother her two-week-old baby Shane to death in 1994 and her 13-month-old daughter Melissa two years later.
She was sentenced to life in prison in 2003 with a minimum non-parole period of 16 years.
Scotchmer pleaded not guilty to both murders on grounds of insanity and earlier revealed she didn’t know why she had harmed her children.
She was found guilty on two counts of wilful murder in the Supreme Court and was sent to the Bandyup Women’s Prison in Perth’s north-east.
Scotchmer was released on parole on Monday.
Louise Anne Scotchmer (pictured with husband and daughter Melissa) from Western Australia will walk free from jail after 18 years after she was convicted of murdering her two children
The WA Prisoners Review Board found Scotchmer had joined a re-socialisation program last year targeted at women facing long sentences to help them return to society, the West Australian reported.
The board sent a report to the Attorney General John Quigley recommending he be ‘advised to release Ms Scotchmer to parole for a period of five years.’
‘On 14 September, 2020 the board met and determined Ms Scotchmer’s release date as 21 September, 2020,’ the board said.
While on parole, Scotchmer is not allowed to be with children unsupervised under the age of 13.
She is also disallowed from drinking alcohol, attending any pubs and must undergo counselling.
The mother told the publication in 2010 she had photos of her children in her cell but struggled to look at them on ‘bad days’.
‘When in this state I will cry for many hours, wanting them to return. It is an especially hard time when their birthdays come around each year,’ she earlier said.
‘To this day I have no idea whether I was insane or not at the time of the babies’ deaths. I have never known why I harmed the babies.’
Scotchmer had also been aquitted of trying to murder her third son in 2000 during a house fire.
He supported her through her time in prison, the board said.