Wednesday 21 March 2018

'I didn't want to hurt him' - Mother explains why she froze her baby to death

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Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A French court has sentenced a Belgian woman to seven years in jail for killing her baby by putting him in the freezer.

Nathalie De Mey (32) was convicted by an all-female jury of murder in the French city of Carcassonne in 2011.

De Mey escaped a life sentence usually given for the murder of a minor because her lawyer argued that she had a temporary loss of judgement.

On Wednesday when De Mey was asked why she did not choose a "more violent" method to kill the infant, she replied: "I didn't want to hurt him."

De Mey, who has two daughters, said she had several alcoholic binges during her pregnancy.

"When I realised I was pregnant, I tried to get help... but it was too late," she said.

 She said she gave birth to the child over a toilet.

"When the baby came out, I caught him by the head so he wouldn't fall in the water, then I cut the cord with scissors."

Hours later, she said, she placed the baby, swaddled in a blanket, in the freezer.

The dead baby was discovered by the father of De Mey's two daughters three months later. 

Her lawyer said before the trial that De Mey had been afraid of admitting to her estranged companion that the third child was not his.

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