French mother faces 20 years in jail for killing five of her

first_imgColmar (France): French prosecutors on Thursday demanded a 20-year prison term for a woman charged with killing five of her children right after they were born, a crime that only came to light one and a half decades after the corpses were discovered. Sylvie Horning, 55, was detained in November 2017 on suspicions she murdered the five children between 1990 and 2005. Horning, the mother of three adult children, is thought to have hidden her pregnancies even from her partner, giving birth in secret and then strangling the newborns at her house in Wittelsheim in eastern France. Nothing untoward was suspected until the discovery in 2003 of the bodies of four babies in rubbish bags in the nearby Galfingue forest. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonBut the initial investigation was closed in 2009 after it failed to yield clues to the deaths. It was reopened in 2016 to take advantage of advances in DNA testing, and a year later investigators made the first link between Horning and the deaths, completely by chance, after her DNA was taken in separate case following a fight with neighbours. This then showed that she was the mother of the children whose corpses were found. Horning admitted to strangling five children after giving birth to them in secret in a bathroom. A fifth baby was then found in a freezer at her home. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorHer partner, who died in 2018, had said he was completely unaware of the events. Horning’s mother is still alive but did not testify at the trial for health reasons. Prosecutor Melody Barbuti said she was asking for 20 years in jail rather than a life sentence, given the possibility that Horning could be reintegrated with society. She told the court in the eastern town of Colmar that the trial has shown Horning “did not love these babies, she considered them as things”. Horning remained immobile in the defendant’s box during the hearings, her voice only breaking with emotion when she described abuse as a child.last_img