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Mother gets 8 years for three infant deaths

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Mother gets 8 years for three infant deaths
Photo: DPA
12:12 CET+01:00
A Zwickau court on Wednesday sentenced a German woman to eight years in prison for killing three of her babies shortly after giving birth.

The 29-year-old mother from Plauen in the eastern German state of Saxony was convicted in two of the deaths, but the prosecution did not have enough evidence for the third child.

“We are convinced that we can at least close the chain of evidence for the children Lisa and Marie,” said Judge Torsten Sommer. The mother, Susan F. was acquitted of charges for the death of her daughter Celine.

The grisly crimes may never have been discovered if youth services hadn't realised that Celine – born and registered in a hospital in 2002 – never appeared for a preschool medical checkup. The office called the police in 2007, who later found that Susan F. had carefully wrapped the three babies in tape and deposited one in a suitcase in her grandmother's cellar, another in a deep freezer, and the third in a flower pot.

Susan F. already had two sons aged eight and two. She told police that the infant Celine – found in the flower pot - died suddenly of crib death. She also said that she had wanted to give the child up for adoption, but did not approach any institutions to do so.

Police discovered the other two infants a week later in two different buildings. Susan F. allegedly gave birth to both alone at her home.

Authorities were unable to determine the cause of death for these babies because their corpses were too decayed.

None of Susan F.'s family or friends were aware of the pregnancies, including her 29-year-old boyfriend and the father of her two boys. He was apparently not interested in having more children, but did not concern himself with birth control. He believed that she had given Celine up for adoption and claimed not to know of her other two pregnancies.

Both the defence and prosecution plan to appeal the verdict.

Germany has been plagued with a spate of gruesome infanticide cases in the last few years that have shocked the country. One woman who killed nine of her babies was sentenced to 15 years in prison in April 2008.

In May 2008, a 44-year-old woman was arrested when her family found three dead babies in her freezer near Bonn.

Meanwhile in January of 2009, a German soldier was jailed for leaving her newborn daughter to die after giving birth at army barracks toilet while allegedly unaware she was pregnant.

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