Murderpedia

 

 

Juan Ignacio Blanco  

 

  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

 
 

Céline LESAGE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Infanticide
Characteristics: Guilty of suffocating four babies and strangling two others after giving birth to them in secret
Number of victims: 6
Date of murder: 2000 - 2007
Date of arrest: October 2007
Date of birth: 1971
Victim profile: Six of her newborn babies
Method of murder: Suffocation - Strangulation
Location: Valognes, Manche, Normandy, France
Status: Sentenced to 15 years in prison on March 18, 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 

Celine Lesage is a French woman found guilty in 2010 of murdering six of her newborn babies between 2000 and 2007. She suffocated four of them, and strangled two. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murders.

 
 

French woman sentenced to 15 years for killing six babies

Céline Lesage guilty of suffocating four babies and strangling two others after giving birth to them in secret

By Lizzy Davies - Guardian.co.uk

March 19, 2010

A mother who killed six of her newborn babies and hid their bodies in bin liners has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by a court in northern France.

Céline Lesage, 38, was found guilty of suffocating four babies and strangling two others after giving birth to them in secret between 2000 and 2007.

Though she admitted to the murders, she told a court in the Normandy town of Coutances she had no explanation for her crimes. "Yes, I am guilty. I am aware that I killed my babies … but it's too hard. I horrify myself so much that I am hiding from myself," she said yesterday morning.

On the first day of the trial Lesage, often in tears during the testimony of her friends and family, said she hoped the hearing would help her "understand and be understood". The prison sentence indicated the jury had decided her acts were committed in cold blood.

"The deeds were clearly premeditated," argued prosecutor Eric Bouillard during the trial. He said that Lesage was "in some way in denial of her guilt".

Defence lawyer Véronique Carré had argued that her client, though guilty, was far from the "cold manipulative being" portrayed by the prosecution. "She is guilty – she has always told you that," she said. "She must be punished, but also treated."

The grim secrets of Lesage's hidden pregnancies came to light in 2007, when her partner, Luc Margueritte, found the decomposing bodies of six babies in the cellar of their home in Valognes, near Cherbourg. One of them was that of his own child, conceived without his knowledge and killed by Lesage after she gave birth standing up in their bathroom.

The other five babies had been born in secret during their mother's previous relationship, which lasted from 1989 until 2006. Pascal Catherine, who told the court he had often suspected but never knew for sure that Lesage was pregnant, is the father of the couple's 14-year-old son.

Lesage, who told the court she had been too scared to tell anyone she was pregnant, said she was afraid that her partners and her parents would react badly to the news. But she insisted the killings had not been premeditated. "The linen, the bin liners and the string were next to me. I reached out my arm," she told the court, seeking to explain her almost automatic reaction to the successive births.

Because of her inability to fully explain to the court her motivations, several psychological experts told the court they feared the chances of her reoffending were high.

Lawyers for Lesage said she would not appeal against the verdict.

 
 

'Yes, I killed my babies': Mother who murdered six newborns sentenced to 15 years in jail

By Peter Allen - DailyMail.co.uk

March 19, 2010

A ‘serial killer’ mother has been jailed for 15 years for murdering six of her newborn children in as many years and hiding their tiny corpses in a cellar.

In one of the worst infanticide cases in history, 38-year-old Frenchwoman Celine Lesage strangled two of her children with a cord and choked four others by placing her finger in their mouths.

‘Yes, I killed the babies,’ she said during cross examination at La Manche Correctional court in Cherbourg, Normandy, yesterday.

With her voice quivering, and in floods of tears, she said: ‘I did it but I can't explain it why I did it.’

Each of the babies had been delivered 'in secret' between August 2000 and September 2007, with Lesage 'putting the babies and their dirty clothes neatly in a sealed plastic bag and hiding them'.

Prosecutors – who described her as a ‘serial killer’ - had sought a 16-year prison sentence for Lesage with no early release before half the term was served, but accepted 15.

Lesage was arrested in 2007 after her partner at the time, Luc Margueritte, discovered the tiny corpses decomposing in plastic garbage bags in the basement of their apartment building in Valognes, south of Cherbourg.

He was the father of the last newborn and a prosecution witness in the case.

Veronique Carre, defending, said: 'The facts of the case are not in dispute, but there is medical and psychological evidence to consider.’

Prosecutor Michel Garrandaux told the court: 'Her attitude was wholly ambivalent. On the one hand she expressed her desire to have children, and then she refused to keep them.'

He said Lesage - a 'modest and otherwise ordinary housewife' who has as surviving son aged 14 who was taken into care after her arrest - had 'no idea' why she had effectively turned into a serial killer.

Among those in the public gallery was Pascal Catherine, her 39-year-old former boyfriend who fathered the first five murdered children.

He was originally arrested for not reporting a crime and hiding the corpses, before his lawyers successfully argued he had thought the babies had been still born or had been aborted.

Lesage and Mr Catherine split up in the spring of 2006 after 15 years living as common law man and wife.

Her horrific secret was uncovered a year later, on October 19, 2007, when a new boyfriend was taken to the decaying corpses by Lesage's teenage son.

Mr Garrandaux said: 'He was led to the cellar by the terrible smell of decomposing corpses and found them wrapped up in their bags.'

Gendarmes were called and Lesage admitted killing all her newborn children, but claimed diminished responsibility.

She told police that she had 'absolutely no explanation' for what she had done and was placed on remand in the nearby city of Caen, Normandy.

Last year, another French mother Veronique Courjault was jailed for eight years for killing three babies.

She was deemed to be suffering from severe psychological problems, which meant she was in denial about being pregnant.

 
 

French woman admits killing six newborn babies

Celine Lesage faces life imprisonment for aggravated homicide, after children's corpses were found at her Valognes flat in 2007

By Adam Gabbatt - Guardian.co.uk

March 15, 2010

A 38-year-old French woman has admitted killing six of her newborn children, at a trial in north-west France.

Celine Lesage, who faces life imprisonment if convicted of aggravated homicide, was arrested in 2007 after her then partner found the babies' corpses wrapped in plastic bags in the basement of her Valognes flat.

Speaking today at the opening of a four-day trial, Lesage bowed her head as the charges were read out, before responding: "I acknowledge the facts."

Chief judge Herve Locu pressed her to find out whether the babies had been stillborn or born alive. After repeated questioning, Lesage responded: "They were alive."

Her lawyer, Veronique Carre, said Lesage "does not contest the facts … but isn't explaining them either". Several medical and psychological experts are expected to testify at the trial.

"We are here to try to understand you before judging you," the judge told Lesage.

She has admitted strangling two of the infants and suffocating four others, according to judicial documents. The babies were born between 2000 and 2007.

Lesage told investigators that the father of five of the children was her ex-boyfriend, Pascal Catherine, who was detained for questioning after Lesage was arrested in 2007. She said the father of the sixth child was Luc Margueritte, the man who found the children's bodies, and a plaintiff in the case.

After Lesage, who also has a 14-year-old son, was arrested prosecutor Michel Garrandaux said she described giving birth to the first five alone in the apartment she shared with Catherine.

Garrandaux claimed Catherine was "far from unaware" of her pregnancies, but the investigation against him was dropped. He will testify as a witness tomorrow.

The prosecution says when Lesage and Catherine separated in 2006, Lesage moved in with Margueritte, taking the plastic bags to her new apartment.

The trial comes less than 12 months after a French woman was sentenced to eight years in prison for murdering three of her newborn children. Véronique Courjault burned one of the babies' bodies and stashed the other two corpses in a freezer, while she and her husband were living in South Korea.

During the trial psychiatrists testified that Courjault suffered from a psychological condition known as pregnancy denial, and family members pleaded for clemency on her behalf.

Germany saw a similar case in 2006 when Sabine Hilschenz killed eight of her newborn babies, burying them in flowerpots and a fish tank. She was found guilty of eight counts of manslaughter and jailed for 15 years.

 
 

Mother 'killed her six babies and hid bodies in the cellar'

By Peter Allen - DailyMail.co.uk

March 15, 2010

A mother appeared in court today accused of murdering six of her newborn children in as many years and hiding their tiny corpses in a cellar.

In one of the worst infanticide cases in history, 38-year-old Celine Lesage faces life in prison for 'aggravated homicide'.

She is said to have strangled two of her children with a cord and choked four others by placing her finger in their mouths.

Each of the babies had been delivered 'in secret' between August 2000 and September 2007, with Lesage 'putting the babies and their dirty clothes neatly in a sealed plastic bag and hiding them', according to Cherbourg prosecutor Michel Garrandaux.

He told the court: 'Her attitude was wholly ambivalent. On the one hand she expressed her desire to have children, and then she refused to keep them.'

He said Lesage - a 'modest and otherwise ordinary housewife' who has as surviving son aged 14 - had 'no idea' why she had effectively turned into a serial killer.

Mr Garrandaux told La Manche Azzizes Court, in Cherbourg, it was the court's job to 'try to understand you, before judging you'.

Lesage spoke only to confirm her name on the first day of the trial.

Among those in the public gallery was Pascal Catherine, her 39-year-old former boyfriend who fathered the first five murdered children.

He was originally arrested for not reporting a crime and hiding the corpses, before his lawyers successfully argued he had thought the babies had been still born or had been aborted.

Lesage and Mr Catherine split up in the spring of 2006 after 15 years living as common law man and wife.

Her horrific secret was uncovered a year later, on October 19, 2007, when a new boyfriend was taken to the decaying corpses by Lesage's teenage son.

Mr Garrandaux said: 'He was led to the cellar by the terrible smell of decomposing corpses and found them wrapped up in their bags.'

The second boyfriend, whose identity has not been released, later found his own baby son - the sixth murder victim - in a dustbin in the family home in Valognes.

Gendarmes were called and Lesage admitted killing all her newborn children, but claimed diminished responsibility.

She told police that she had 'absolutely no explanation' for what she had done and was placed on remand in the nearby city of Caen, Normandy.

Veronique Carre, defending, said: 'The facts of the case are not in dispute, but there is medical and psychological evidence to consider.

'My client believes she is responsible, but not guilty.'

Last year, another French mother Veronique Courjault was jailed for eight years for killing three babies.

She was deemed to be suffering from severe psychological problems, which meant she was in denial about being pregnant.

The trial continues.

 
 


Céline Lesage

 

Police outside the building where Celine Lesage hid the bodies
of her six babies after she killed them.

 

 

 
 
 
 
home last updates contact