Amersfoort woman acquitted of manslaughter in newborn babies' deaths

A 41-year-old woman from Amersfoort was acquitted on appeal of manslaughter on her two newborn babies. The bodies of the two children were found in her home in 2014. The Court of Appeal in Den Bosch did not consider manslaughter proven. Experts testified that the babies were likely stillborn. The Public Prosecutor demanded institutionalized psychiatric care against the woman, NOS reports.

The babies were born in 2002 and 2004. The mother, Johanna H., put the bodies in a cookie tin and a beauty case and did not report their deaths to the police until 2014.

Both children were born on the toilet and neither were fully developed, despite being almost full-term, according to the broadcaster. H. had continued to smoke, drink heavily, and use drugs during her pregnancies. This significantly increased the chances that the babies were stillborn.

H. was previously acquitted by the court in Utrecht and later by the court in Arnhem, because it was impossible to say whether the babies were alive or dead at birth. The Supreme Court referred the case to the court in Den Bosch. 

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