Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

German freezer baby mother guilty

The house in Wenden, Germany, where the three babies were found
The bodies of the three baby girls were found in Halbe's house in Wenden

A German court has sentenced a woman to more than four years in prison for killing two of her baby girls whose bodies she kept in a freezer.

Monika Halbe, aged 44, was convicted of manslaughter for killing the infants, born in 1988 and 2003.

She was not tried in connection with a third baby girl who died in 1986 because too much time had elapsed.

She denied killing the babies, and said she kept them in the freezer because she had wanted them to remain near her.

The three tiny corpses were found by Halbe's teenage son in May when he was looking for a pizza in the basement freezer in the family's home in Wenden, near Frankfurt.

Grim case

Halbe was sentenced to four years and three months in prison by the court in the western town of Siegen.

During the trial that shocked the whole nation, she had admitted to hiding the bodies in the freezer but had denied killing them.

Prosecutors had demanded eight-and-a-half years in prison for Halbe, arguing that she had suffocated one of the babies born in 1988 and drowned the other one.

Her defence team had asked that she be sentenced on probation, noting that Halbe, who already had three grown children, had been deeply ambivalent about having more babies and had suffered from alcoholism.

It was not the first such case in Germany.

Two years ago, the body of a dead toddler was found in the fridge of his drug-addicted parents in the northern city of Bremen.

Also in 2006, a woman in eastern Germany was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing eight of her babies.

She had buried them in flower pots and a fish tank in the garden of her parents' home near the Polish border.

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Telegraph German freezer baby mother guilty - 30 hrs ago
Telegraph German mother jailed for killing babies and keeping bodies in freezer - 36 hrs ago
Sky News Killer Mum Kept Babies In Freezer - 44 hrs ago
ABC Online German mother found guilty in babies in freezer case - 46 hrs ago
Washington PostGerman mother guilty of killing infants - 47 hrs ago
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