Woman ac­cused of hid­ing re­mains of six in­fants fac­ing fraud trial

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

WIN­NIPEG — A woman ac­cused of hid­ing the re­mains of six in­fants in a Win­nipeg stor­age locker is go­ing to trial on fraud charges. An­drea Gies­brecht is ac­cused of de­fraud­ing Man­i­toba’s Em­ploy­ment and In­come As­sis­tance, a pay­day loan com­pany and an un­named in­di­vid­ual. She also faces six charges of con­ceal­ing a body in re­la­tion to the re­mains found last year. Gies­brecht has been out on bail since the spring and left court quickly af­ter a trial was or­dered for the fraud charges. Matt Gould, her lawyer, says they tried to ne­go­ti­ate a set­tle­ment with the Crown that wouldn’t have in­volved jail time, but no agree­ment was reached. He says it could take a year be­fore the fraud charges make it to trial. “We feel, as her de­fence, that it’s in­ap­pro­pri­ate to add jail time to this type of charge. She was will­ing to ac­knowl­edge that pay­ing (the money) back was ap­pro­pri­ate,” Gould said Mon­day. “By in­sist­ing on jail time, it left the de­fence in a po­si­tion where we felt we had no op­tion ex­cept to set these mat­ters for trial.” Court records show Gies­brecht, 41, was a gam­bling ad­dict with a low-pay­ing job at a fast food res­tau­rant be­fore she was ar­rested last Oc­to­ber. She is ex­pected to go on trial to face charges re­lated to the in­fant re­mains in April. Another lawyer rep­re­sent­ing her in that case has main­tained there are no signs of foul play and no ev­i­dence the in­fants were born alive.

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