A court on Thursday sentenced a French mother to 15 years in jail for smothering or strangling to death six of her newborn babies.
Celine Lesage, 38, risked a life jail sentence with no possibility of parole for 18 years for first degree murder. Prosecutors had demanded a 16-year-jail term.
Lesage, a petite brunette who has a teenaged son, on Monday admitted before the judge in the Channel town of Coutances to killing the six infants between 1999 and 2007.
"I realise that I killed my babies, the children that I had with my two partners, but it's too difficult," she said during the hearing. "I want to understand but I can't."
She was arrested in October 2007 after her partner and father of one of the murdered babies discovered rotting infant bodies in garbage bags in the basement of their apartment building.
Investigators described Lesage as a shy woman with no apparent mental problems who claimed she lived in fear of her ex-partner and father to five of the murdered babies, accusing him of being violent.
But the investigation did not find that her ex-partner, 39-year-old plumber Pascal Catherine, had a "domineering attitude", according to court documents.
Lesage later told the court that she could not explain why she had killed the babies.
Last June another Frenchwoman, Veronique Courjault, was sentenced to eight years in jail after admitting to killing three of her own babies, burning one corpse and hiding the others in the family freezer. AFP