Court confirms 15-year jail term for mother who killed babies
A German court confirms a 15-year jail term for a mother who let eight of her newborn children die and buried their tiny bodies in plant pots.
8th April 2008
Berlin - A court in the eastern town of Frankfurt-an-der-Oder said there was no reason to reduce the sentence for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
An appeals court last year upheld the conviction, but referred the case back to the original court, arguing that the trial judges ought to have considered exemption factors before applying the maximum 15-year sentence in 2006.
In one of the worst serial infanticides on record, Sabine H gave birth in seclusion and left the babies alone until they died of cold and lack of nourishment.
The tiny skeletons were found buried in the dried-out soil of containers for tomatoes and other plants in 2005 in the small town of Brieskow-Finkenheerd, leading to the arrest of H, who raised four other children.
A ninth body was found, but the baby's death was too long ago to prosecute.
The woman made no show of emotion when the sentence was confirmed. Defence lawyers had argued for a more lenient sentence on the grounds that she was not fully accountable for her actions because she was an alcoholic at the time.