“I felt like part of the family”
At the trial of Geneviève Lhermitte, a woman who stands accused of killing her five children in February 2007, her husband Bouchaïb Moqadem and Dr Michel Schaar testified.
The woman stands accused of killing her five children in February 2007. After killing her children the 42-year-old woman also attempted to commit suicide.
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 the situation at home.
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 come and live in their home.
Schaar had befriended her husband’s family during a trip to Morocco many years ago. He brought the young Bouchaïb to Belgium and paid for his studies. Dr Schaar said he treated him like an adopted son.
During his testimony he said, "I never noticed any resentment or ill-feelings because of my presence," said Dr Schaar, "I felt like part of the family."
Earlier in the day the husband of Geneviève Lhermitte, Bouchaïb Moqadem testified. The man was very emotional.
He denied allegations that there had ever been violence between him and his wife or children.
He said that he thought his family was happy. In a flood of tears he told the court, "I am a broken man. I have lost everything."
He also testified that his ‘adopted father’ was like a real family member and he had never noticed any tension either.
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.
After the killings she 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.