BARRIE, Ont. - Minutes after a mother calmly called police saying her children were dead, officers found 19-month-old Sophia Campione in bed, dressed in her Tinkerbell pyjamas, holding hands with her three-year-old sister Serena, court heard Thursday.

Between their lifeless bodies lay a photo album and a rosary.

The Crown alleges their mother, Frances Elaine Campione, 35, drowned them in October 2006 so their father could not get custody.

A videotape was found in the room with the girls' bodies that showed Campione addressing the camera and speaking as if she and her daughters were dead, Crown attorney Enno Meijers said in his opening statement to the jury.

"There, are you happy?" Meijers said Campione says on the video, which the jury will later be shown.

"Everything's gone. Gone... God's taking care of them now ... There is no way I could have them with you."

Defence lawyer Mary Cremer told the court they don't dispute that Campione "caused the girls to drown." But Cremer said she would explore "what was going on in the mind of Elaine Campione when this tragedy occurred" and will contest whether Campione had the mental state to form criminal intent.

After killing her daughters Campione tried to kill herself by overdosing on the anxiety medication clonazepam and had attempted suicide in the past, Meijers told the six-woman, six-man jury.

Elaine and Leo Campione's marriage was a rocky one, Meijers told court. He had been charged with assaulting his wife and his eldest daughter and Elaine Campione and the girls lived at a shelter for a while before moving into an apartment.

Leo Campione's parents had custody of the girls for a time while their mother was in hospital for stress and suicide attempts, but at the time of their death the girls and Elaine Campione were living in the apartment.

Leo Campione had made an application to get custody of his daughters -- an application that was to be heard the day after his daughters were found dead.

"She did this in order to keep her estranged husband from getting" custody of Serena and Sophia, Meijers told the jury.

The videotape found in the bedroom showed footage from the night of Oct. 2, 2006 of the sisters playing and colouring, Meijers said. The tape was turned off at 8:39 p.m. and at that point "Serena and Sophia were very much alive," he said.

Then at 9:27 p.m. the video camera is turned back on and Campione is sitting alone on a couch facing the camera and talks about her hatred for her estranged husband, how "there is no way I could have them with you," and states that God is taking care of them.

The camera is turned on again at 8:19 a.m. on Oct. 3 and Campione, sitting in the same spot, tells the camera she tried to overdose but it didn't work. The camera is turned on again soon after, Meijers told court.

"It's morning and our babies are in heaven," Meijers quoted Campione as saying.

The jury also heard a recording of a call at 6:15 a.m. on Oct. 4 made to police -- on an administrative line and not 911 -- in which Campione states in a quiet voice, "My children are dead."

When asked what happened, she says, "I don't know. I don't remember."

Campione, a thin and pale woman with long, brown hair, wept in court as Meijers described the scene police encountered when they found her daughters' bodies.

Barrie police Const. Greg Brickell was one of the first officers on the scene. Campione answered the door of her apartment and when asked if she had children, she replied, "Yes, they're dead. They're on my bed," Brickell testified.

He went into the master bedroom and saw the two little bodies under the covers of the neatly made bed. Serena was wearing a lavender nightgown, Sophia was wearing her Tinkerbell pyjamas and both were wearing a necklace and earrings, Meijers said in his opening statement.

The rosary and photo album were between them.

Serena had a bruise on her forehead and Sophia's mouth was purple, Brickell testified. Their hair had been combed and the little girls were holding hands.

"There were no signs of life in either of the children," he told the court.

"Both of them were cold and clammy to the touch and they had greyish, bluish skin."

There was an odour in the room and a fan set to high was trained on the bed, Meijers said.

In what appeared to be the sisters' bedroom, clothes were piled on two little beds and a note was attached to the door with burial instructions, Brickell said.

An autopsy found the cause of death for both girls to be drowning. Court will hear from a friend of Campione who will testify the woman told her how she held the girls' heads under the water in the bathtub, Meijers said.

The trial continues Friday and is expected to last eight weeks.