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UK Woman Hid Dead Babies For 20 Years

A mother is facing jail for hiding the bodies of four stillborn girls, keeping three of the decomposing bodies in her wardrobe for up to 20 years.Bernadette Quirk, 55, buried one baby in a cemetery
PTI September 15, 2010 10:27 IST
PTI
A mother is facing jail for hiding the bodies of four stillborn girls, keeping three of the decomposing bodies in her wardrobe for up to 20 years.

Bernadette Quirk, 55, buried one baby in a cemetery illegally and wrapped the other three - two of which were twins - in newspaper and rags, then stuffed them in a small plastic bin with an air freshener, reports Mumbai Mirror.

The twice-married alcoholic even moved the bin bodies around with her between rented properties over a 10-year period.

Daughter Joanne Lee made the grisly find at Quirk's home near St Helens, Merseyside, last July and alerted police who started a murder investigation.

Quirk said the babies, all full-term, were all stillborn at her home, insisting: “They did not make any noise and they did not move.”



Police could not prove otherwise and Quirk could only be charged with concealing the births.

Judge Henry Globe QC told Quirk, who pleaded guilty: “These are serious offences. All options of sentence remain open, including a custodial one.”

The court heard that the births happened between 1985 and 1995, but Quirk could not remember the exact dates because of her “chaotic” lifestyle and booze problems.

Ian Morris, defending, said: “She accepts she did give birth and did not register the births. But she makes it clear all the children were stillborn.

“She describes that period of her life as being chaotic and out of control. She has buried those memories.”

Police revealed that Quirk, also mother to Christopher and Catherine, said she started drinking after her marriage broke down in the mid-1980s and had a number of sexual partners.

She could identify the two fathers of the babies found in her house, but not the dad of the girl buried in the family's plot at the local cemetery.

Morris said Quirk could not remember the birth of the fourth child but tests showed she was mother to all four.

Cause of death has yet to be established but all four babies had skeletal abnormalities and foetal growth restriction. The case was adjourned until October 11. Quirk's relatives now plan to the babies a proper burial.