Woman killed four newborn babies out of ‘fear, shame and panic’

A young woman accused of murdering four babies and keeping them in bags in the attic of the home she shared with her parents is appearing in court on Tuesday.

Sietske H, 26, gave birth to four children secretly at home in the village of Nij Beets in Friesland betwee June 2003 and June 2009. She is accused of killing them all immediately after the births by smothering them.
The young woman told the court she gave birth in her bedroom at the parental home, having kept the pregnancy secret by wearing loose clothes.
H, a dental assistant by profession, told the court she remembered killing the last two babies, but very little about the first ones.
‘I did not want anyone to know I was pregnant. It was fear, shame and panic. It was not how things should be,’ she told the court.
Her parents and sister told the court they were not aware of her pregnancies, the Telegraaf reported.
Police found the bodies of the babies last August following a tip-off from the woman’s employer. He had noticed her getting fatter, then having a couple of days off sick and returning slim, news agency ANP reported.
Sietske H has been examined by psychiatrists at a specialist clinic and is currently being held in prison in Zwolle. She faces a maximum 12 years in jail.
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