Win­nipeg woman sen­tenced to 8.5 years for con­ceal­ing dead ba­bies

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

A Man­i­toba woman who hid the re­mains of six in­fants in a rented stor­age locker has been sen­tenced to 8 1/2 years in pri­son.

An­drea Gies­brecht was found guilty ear­lier this year of stor­ing the re­mains in plas­tic bins in a U-haul stor­age unit in Win­nipeg.

Pro­vin­cial court Judge Mur­ray Thomp­son said Gies­brecht’s moral cul­pa­bil­ity was ex­treme and her be­hav­iour needed to be de­nounced.

“These were newly de­liv­ered in­fants, our most vul­ner­a­ble,” Thomp­son said Fri­day in his livestreamed de­ci­sion.

“She knew she had med­i­cal op­tions and chose not to ac­cess them.”

The judge noted that Gies­brecht has not shown re­morse or taken any re­spon­si­bil­ity for her ac­tions.

He gave Gies­brecht 8 1/2 months of credit for time al­ready served.

Med­i­cal ex­perts tes­ti­fied the in­fants were Gies­brecht’s and were likely to have been born alive, but the re­mains were too de­com­posed to de­ter­mine how they died.

The trial heard she made ef­forts to hide her preg­nan­cies from ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing her hus­band.

Gies­brecht’s lawyer, Greg Brod­sky, had asked that the case be tossed be­cause it took too long to con­clude, but Thomp­son dis­missed the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Thomp­son said there were no rea­sons why the mo­tion was filed “at the last pos­si­ble mo­ment” and added the de­fence move lacked se­ri­ous­ness.

Brod­sky told court last Fri­day af­ter sen­tenc­ing ar­gu­ments hat he planned to file the de­lay mo­tion.

The judge said that if the mat­ter had truly been im­por­tant to the de­fence, Brod­sky would not have waited so long.

“Rais­ing the spec­tre for a mo­tion of un­rea­son­able de­lay for the first time on Fri­day at 3:30 p.m. when a con­vic­tion was en­tered months ago and sen­tenc­ing dates have been set for months, and dis­tract­ing a judge writ­ing an im­por­tant de­tailed de­ci­sion is un­ac­cept­able,” Thomp­son said.

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