Volker Stronczyk, a judge at the Verden district court in northern Germany, delivered the sentence after an emotional trial in which the 25-year-old suspect broke down in tears repeatedly. The defence said it would appeal.
The woman was originally charged with murder, but after considering mitigating circumstances, authorities decided to prosecute her on manslaughter charges instead.
According to the court, the highway patrol officer met her boyfriend in October 2009 just after leaving a previous relationship and without knowing she was pregnant.
Although she realized she was getting bigger, the woman might not even have known she was pregnant – two weeks before the birth she ran a relay race and put on a bikini, something the judge said was “not typical of a heavily pregnant woman.” She told friends she had a poor diet and wasn’t doing enough sports.
But then the woman went into labour and gave birth as her boyfriend dozed nearby. She claimed that she may have slipped in attempting to sever the umbilical cord with scissors, but the could ruled that “there was no rescue effort.” The baby died from a stab wound to its belly.
After slipping the baby under the bed, she went with her boyfriend to a birthday party and eventually stuffed the body into a backpack and buried it.
The suspect later broke down to her boyfriend and confessed everything. They both went immediately to the police – something the court ruled was a mitigating factor in addition to her strong display of remorse.