Woman murdered her four newborns in 'panic'
The 26-year-old woman accused of killing four newborn babies between 2003 and 2009 faced a Leeuwarden court Tuesday. Sietske H. is charged with suffocating her children and keeping their bodies in the attic of the home she shared with her parents.
“I did not want anyone to know I was pregnant,” the former dental assistant from the Frisian town of Nij Beets, told the court. “It was fear, shame and panic. I cannot explain it.”
Following a tip-off from her former employer, police in August found the bodies of four newborn babies in suitcases kept in the same attic room where H. worked and slept.
When asked by the Public Prosecutor about the pungent odor in the room, H. said she would use a spray to cut the smell and “then went back to the order of the day.”
H. faces a maximum 12 years in prison for infanticide. Her lawyer, Barbara Klunder, is seeking the charges be downgraded from infanticide to child homicide because of her client’s panic-stricken psychological state at the time.
Ms. Klunder is also seeking an acquittal for two of the deaths, claiming insufficient evidence to prove the children were born alive.
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