Woman jailed for killing her babies in plastic bags

A woman was convicted of manslaughter today for killing her three newborn babies by stuffing them into plastic bags.

The 22-year-old German woman, identified only as Claudia B, claimed the three babies were born dead – one boy in 2002 and two girls in 2004 and 2005.

But post-mortem results presented at her trial showed they died of asphyxiation in plastic bags. She was sentenced to nine years in prison.

The bodies of the babies were found in cartons in the garage of her parents’ former house in the town of Thoerey, in the eastern state of Thuringia, in January last year.

DNA results showed the babies each had different fathers.

According to evidence from the Erfurt state court trial, Claudia B concealed her pregnancies from her parents, the fathers and her two older sisters.

The woman was taken into custody after the bodies were found, but was released later that year to give birth to a fourth child. She will now, however, have to serve her full sentence, said prosecutor Alexander Groll.

She was a teenager when the children were born and convicted as a juvenile, but was given a relatively harsh sentence because the court found “the accused was fully responsible for her actions.”

It was just one in a string of similar cases in Germany.

In the worst case, a woman was convicted of manslaughter in 2006 and sentenced to the maximum 15 years in prison for killing eight of her newborn babies and burying them in flower pots and a fish tank in the garden of her parents’ home near the German-Polish border.

Most recently, earlier this week police in the western town of Wenden arrested a 44-year-old woman on suspicion of killing three of her babies and storing them in the family’s freezer.

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