A former EastEnders actress who was battered and stabbed to death along with her two young children by her partner was planning to take them and leave him, a court has heard.
Arthur Simpson Kent killed Sian Blake, 43, and their sons, Zachary, eight, and four-year-old Amon, before burying their bodies in the garden of their home.
The Old Bailey was told that Ms Blake, the family's main breadwinner, had recently been diagnosed with terminal motor neurone disease and that, along with their "unhealthy" relationship, led her to consider selling their home and moving back in with her close family.
The court heard that Ms Blake's condition had weakened her arms and hands to the extent that she would not have been able to fight off an attacker.
Simpson Kent, a 49-year-old cannabis dealer who fled to his native Ghana before being extradited back to the UK, faces a possible whole-life sentence after admitting the triple killing in Erith, south east London.
Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, told the court that Ms Blake was planning to return to live with her family "because of her condition and because of the state of their relationship".
Mr Heywood said: "The evidence suggests, and this much is not disputed, that, on the night of December 14 2015, the defendant killed each of them in turn with heavy, deliberate, repeated blows with a blunt instrument not since recovered, and then by cutting and stabbing them with a bladed weapon in a way that ensured their deaths.
"He then covered his crimes by moving, wrapping and burying each of them, cleaning and partially painting his home.
"He misled friends, family and the police, among others, as to what he had done and where his partner and children had gone."
Police and forensic officers carry out a finger tip search after three bodies were found in the rear garden of Sian Blake's houseCREDIT: JOHN MCLELLAN FOR THE TELEGRAPH
Members of Ms Blake's family wept in court as the case was opened in front of a packed public gallery. She played Frankie Pierre in 56 episodes of EastEnders between 1996 and 1997.
Ms Blake last saw her family face to face on Sunday December 13, when she went to her mother Lindell Blake's home in Leyton, east London, the court heard.
Mr Heywood said she asked her mother if the four of them, including Simpson Kent, could move in to the property.
When Mrs Blake said Simpson Kent could not, her daughter "appeared to accept it", the lawyer said.
He added: "Her family encouraged her to move sooner or later. Although no firm arrangement was made, the understanding was that she and the children would move over the coming holiday period, Christmas, even though she had originally requested a delay until the spring.
"That was the last time Sian Blake was directly seen alive by family members."
In the days following her death, family tried to contact her and received texts from her mobile phone saying she had gone away, the court was told.
A message sent to her sister Ava read: "I'm taking time to myself and my children without constant opinions from family and friends."
It added: "I have had enough of appeasing everyone. We are away and I will not be calling or speaking to anyone for a few months."
Mr Heywood said: "The defendant, using her (Ms Blake's) phone, was sending the messages."
He added: "It indicates a deliberate attempt to mislead by the defendant."
The lawyer added that, after Ms Blake and her children were dead, Simpson Kent "appears to have removed all of the possessions of Sian Blake and the two boys", including clothes and shoes, from the house.
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