Germany: Police arrive at flat of mother who murdered kids
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The woman, known as Christiane K, is believed to have suffocated or strangled her five youngest children on September 3, 2020 in the West German city of Solingen. Wuppertal district court was told that she sedated her children Luca, 8, Timo, 6, Sophie, 3, Leonie, 2, and one-year-old Melina, before killing them in her bathtub.
The mother, 28, carried their lifeless bodies in towels to reposition them on their beds, the court heard.
The bodies were discovered covered and still in place in their beds in September last year.
Christiane K’s oldest child, who was eleven years old when the killings took place, is understood to be in the care of his grandmother.
The killings reportedly took place after Christiane K saw a photo of her husband with his new partner.
She then sent a message to her husband, chillingly telling him that he would never see his children again.
Christiane K then attempted to kill herself at Dusseldorf Central Station.
She sustained significant injuries, but no fatal damage.
Court-appointed psychiatrists and psychologists determined that the defendant had not suffered a serious mental disorder at the time of the children’s deaths.
The court was told Christiane K had claimed her home was breached by a stranger, who then handcuffed her against her will.
She claimed this stranger then forced her to send the messages received by her husband, before killing the children in the apartment.
The district court listened to the testimonies of more than 40 witnesses over 20 days.
Acting in Christiane K’s defence, her attorney petitioned for an acquittal due to lack of evidence.
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If the judge was unconvinced by an acquittal, the defence argued for a manslaughter conviction and an eight-year custodial sentence.
This would be accompanied by psychiatric treatment, the defence said.
The judge found Christiane K guilty and sentenced her to life imprisonment.
She will not be released at the fifteen-year mark when those serving life sentences typically become eligible for parole.
The court determined that the severity of the defendant’s guilt meant she would not be able to apply for parole at this point in her sentence.
Sentencing, Judge Jochen Kötter described the case as a “tragedy”.
The case had caused a stir in Germany, with locals in Solingen holding a vigil for the children.
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