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Court sentences mother to 17 years for murder of baby

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Usti nad Labem, North Bohemia, Aug 24 (CTK) – A Czech court sentenced Monday a woman to 17 years in prison for murdering her newborn boy by throwing him alive into a dustbin outside in a winter night.

The woman, Jirina Sladkova, withheld her pregnancy from her friends and relatives. She gave birth to a healthy boy in Podborany, north Bohemia, in December 2013. She removed the traces of the childbirth, washed the child, wrapped it in a blanket, put in a bag and went to sleep. After several hours she threw him into a dustbin.

Experts say the child survived for a few hours before dying of exposure.

The woman’s behaviour was obviously intentional, said Jiri Bednar, chairman of the panel of judges.

The verdict has not taken effect as Sladkova’s defence lawyer appealed it.

The defence lawyer wanted either her client’s acquittal or the reassessment of the suspected crime as the murder of a newborn child by his mother, for which Sladkova would face a milder sentence, eight years in jail at the most.

The defence lawyer argued that Sladkova did not know she was pregnant and that she considered the child stillborn.

Experts, nevertheless, said she must have known she was pregnant. In addition, they ruled out the possibility of Sladkova being mentally deranged by the childbirth in a way that would enable her crime to be reassessed.

Sladkova is undergoing psychiatric treatment. She did not testify at the trial.

During the previous investigation, she failed to explain why she decided to get rid of the child.

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