- http://www.lfpress.com/news/2010/03/31/13428451.html Kept baby corpses in boxes, mom gets probation By JANE SIMS , SUNMessage 1 of 1 , Mar 31 5:36 PMView Source
Kept baby corpses in boxes, mom gets probation
Last Updated: March 31, 2010 6:58pmThe mother of three stillborn babies found stored away at a London home pleaded guilty to three charges Wednesday and was sentenced to three years probation.
"Guilty," Jennifer Sinn, 33, of London said quietly after three charges of offering an indignity to a human body stemming from last June were read to her in the Ontario Court of Justice.
The babies’ bodies were found last June at a Sandford St. home in various stages of decomposition and each assigned to their box -— one in a cardboard box, one in a black plastic tote and the other in a red tote box.
Sinn told a psychiatrist she had stored the corpses away for years because she didn’t have any money to bury them and “didn’t know where else to put them.”
Justice John Skowronski heard Sinn had been in a “volatile relationship” for many years with Michael Marquette, the father of three of her four children. Her oldest is from a previous relationship.
Marquette, who was not in court and had moved to Nova Scotia with one of the couple’s sons, alerted police to the grisly discoveries last June after the couple had moved to London from Brampton.
Marquette told police he did not open the totes until the couple had moved to London and did not know the contents.
But defence lawyer Jeanine LeRoy said Sinn told a psychiatrist the babies were stillborn and "that Michael knew."
LeRoy said Sinn had kept the corpses and didn’t seek help “because of the real lack of support from Mr. Marquette and finally the abuse she and the children suffered at his hands.”
Sinn said she told Marquette about the babies but his reply was “it wasn’t his problem,” LeRoy said.
“She was abused to the point that she really didn’t know what she was supposed to do,” Le Roy said.
Skowronski called the domestic relationship “toxic.”
The boxes were already under suspicion during a couple of residential moves in Brampton where the family was evicted from its home and their belongings put in storage.
Assistant Crown attorney Meredith Gardiner, reading form an agreed statement of facts from the Crown and defence, described how Marquette had seen two tote boxes in the units that were wrapped in garbage bags and taped.
He didn’t think anything of it.
His parents helped him move the boxes into a Brampton apartment and were struck by the “very strong, foul odour”coming from them.
Sinn came with Peel Regional Police officers to retrieve them.
Marquette’s father opened one box and, with his previous experience in the meat-packing field, thought the smell was rotting flesh.
In the box he saw a wet garbage bag and felt it. He did not open it or the second tote.
They were turned over to Sinn, who told the police it was a rotting roast she was keeping “out of spite” because Marquette refused to cook it.
Once in London, Marquette said he saw the totes at Sinn’s father’s home, then were later moved to Sandford St.
While cleaning out some boxes for another move, he found the tote and phoned his mother, telling her he was going to finally find out what was in the boxes.
Inside one, he found a bloodied shirt and some mucus and a strong odour.
In the second tote was a smelly garbage bag surrounded with a mucus-like substance.
He called the police, who found the remains of one dead child.
Sinn as arrested and told the police she had been pregnant but had not told Marquette or received any pre-natal care. She thought Marquette knew because she was showing and denied murdering anyone.
Later, she told an undercover police officer in the cells, “I’m not denying I did it, just the way they’re saying it.” She said “it” happened six or seven years ago.
An initial autopsy bean with police opening the cardboard box wrapped in garbage bags. Inside was a deceased infant wrapped in a green towel and a sheet.
In the black tote under a toy truck and layers of torn bags was some bedding and toweling. Inside, was “a white fatty substance, some small bones and what appeared to be small skull fragments with fine hairs.”
The third tote wasn’t opened. All three were sent to Toronto for examination.
Sinn was re-arrested and told he was going to be charged with murder.
She gave no statement.
Tests on the remains showed the babies may have been dead for months or years.
DNA profiles strongly suggested two of the dead infants belonged to the couple.
The third was so badly decomposed, a DNA profile couldn’t be generated.
Autopsies couldn’t determine causes of death or if the babies had survived birth, although it appeared they were far enough along to have survived.
One infant, a girl, had a fractured clavicle, most likely from childbirth.
The third, a boy, was dressed in a bonnet, jumper, shirt and diaper.
Each infant was either full- term or close to it.
LeRoy pointed out the Children’s Aid Society has been involved with Sinn’s other children and gave glowing recommendations about her parenting skills.
The agency’s staff called Sinn “an excellent mother” with a strong bond to her children.
A psychiatrist said Sinn had no major mental illness and recommended she have ongoing counseling and support.
LeRoy asked for a suspended sentence. Gardiner asked for two years less a day, minus the equivalent of five months Sinn was in custody, that could be a conditional sentence along with three years probation.
Skowronski said he was impressed with the support Sinn had and pointed out it appeared she had a real connection with the babies because she took their remains with her “for years.”
He also said she’d been under intense public scrutiny.
He put her on a long probation order with counseling for grief, stress and assertiveness training. He also ordered a DNA sample.
The judge noted that the deaths would have an impact on Sinn for the resst of her life.