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17/12/2008Lhermitte: not accountable
Geneviève Lhermitte killed her five children in February 2007.
At the jury trial against Geneviève Lhermitte, who killed her five children in February 2007, psychiatrists have rendered the opinion that the woman was not of sound of mind when she committed the acts and can therefore not be held accountable.
The three psychiatrists were heard last week, but the judge asked them to conduct more investigation.
Noteworthy is that the psychiatrists first deemed that the defendant could be held accountable for her actions and all three now say that she was not of sound of mind.
The psychiatrists changed their minds based on new evidence: a number of letters that Geneviève Lhermitte had written before she killed her children.
These letters show that the woman was extremely desperate, say the psychiatrists.
The psychiatrists also say that the woman could relapse at any moment or could commit suicide.
If the jury follows the opinion of the psychiatrists, Lhermitte will be interned in a psychiatric clinic and not be sent to prison.
Geneviève Lhermitte was suffering from serious depression
The woman had been battling with psychiatric problems for several years. A month before the events she told her psychiatrist she could no longer deal with her home situation.
She said she had felt exhausted after five consecutive pregnancies and felt let down by her husband, Bouchaïb Moqadem, who was often in his native Morocco. The woman was often left to care for her children by herself.
She said she also objected to the fact that her husband let Dr Michel Schaar, who he treated like his adopted father, come and live in their home.
The defendant had said that she saw the murder of her children and committing suicide as her only way out.
On the day of the killings she stole a knife from a supermarket. Once at home she put the children in front of the video and called them upstairs one by one. She then proceeded to cut their throats.
She then tucked them all in their own bed and tried to stab herself to death.
She lost consciousness and when she came to she alerted the police.
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