WINNIPEG — 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.''
These were newly delivered infants, our most vulnerableJudge Murray Thompson
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.
"Ironically, this is a motion for delay that has been delayed and asks for further delay.''
The Crown had asked for a sentence of 11 years minus time served, while Brodsky had argued that his client should not serve any more time beyond the 168 days she spent in custody following her arrest.