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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Austrian jailed for baby murders
Gertraud Arzberger
Gertraud Arzberger was convicted on three counts of murder
An Austrian woman who stuffed two of her babies in a freezer and entombed two others in concrete has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Gertraud Arzberger, from the city of Graz, was convicted on three counts of murder, after experts said one of the babies may have been still-born.

Her boyfriend, Johannes Genser, 39, was jailed for 15 years as an accessory.

Arzberger, 33, said she had financial problems and feared her partner might leave if she had a baby.

Arzberger, a bookkeeper, told investigators that she gave birth to the children in a bath, but could not remember what happened next.

Partner's denial

Genser denied knowing about her pregnancies, but acknowledged telling her that she would have to leave him if she got pregnant.

Neighbours told the court that her pregnancies had been obvious.

Two of the babies' bodies were found wrapped in plastic and hidden in a freezer in a block of flats in Graz last June.

They were discovered by a neighbour who had reportedly gone to the basement freezer to fetch some ice cream for his children.

The third and fourth were in plastic buckets filled with concrete in a garden shed at the residence, about 200km (120 miles) south of Vienna. They were found by police sniffer dogs.

Neighbours told the court that she had been pregnant a fifth time, but a fifth body has not been found.

Arzberger pleaded guilty to four murders in court.

As he left court in handcuffs Genser sought to propose marriage to Arzberger. "Can I still offer her my hand?" he asked the judge, who replied firmly "No".


SEE ALSO:
Austrian frozen babies examined
06 Jun 05 |  Europe
Babies in freezer shock Austria
03 Jun 05 |  Europe
Country profile: Austria
13 Apr 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Austria
29 May 05 |  Country profiles


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