Two years ago, mother Akon Guode deliberately drove her four-wheel-drive into Lake Gladman, in Melbourne's outer south-west.
Her four-year-old twins, Hanger and Madit, and her 17-month-old, Bol, were in the car at the time and tragically drowned. The woman's eldest daughter, now seven, miraculously survived.
Today, Guode was sentenced to 26 years and six months' jail time for killing three of her children, and for the attempted murder of another, the ABC reports.
Justice Lex Lasry explained Guode’s actions, in his opinion, “were the product of extreme desperation, rather than any form of vengeance”.
“People want to understand why you did what you did, because particularly for parents of young children such action is foreign and unthinkable,” he said, as reported in The Age.
Justice Lasry told the court that Guode was likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and symptoms of depression, stemming from her time in war-torn Sudan.
Guode came to Australia in 2006 as a refugee after fleeing the civil war. SBS reports Guode not only witnessed her first husband’s murder during a village raid, but that she was raped after the horrific event.
Justice Lasry added that Guode had led "an extraordinarily difficult life, a life that most of us can hardly imagine".
The 37-year-old woman will serve a minimum of 20 years jail time before she is eligible for parole.