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This article was published 7/12/2017 (842 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg mother's bid for freedom while awaiting her appeal on convictions for hiding the bodies of six dead babies has been delayed until the new year.
Andrea Giesbrecht, 43, was set to have a bail hearing Thursday, but Court of Appeal Justice Holly Beard adjourned the hearing to a new date because she needed a legal brief to be filed from Giesbrecht's defence team before the bail hearing could go ahead.
Giesbrecht's lawyer, Greg Brodsky, is now set to argue on Jan. 29 that she should be released from custody pending her appeal.
She was ordered to serve 8 1/2 years in prison after she was convicted on six counts of concealing a child's body for keeping the infant remains of five boys and one girl in a McPhillips Street storage locker. Their decomposed bodies were discovered by U-Haul staff in October 2014, after Giesbrecht failed to pay the rent on the storage unit.
Giesbrecht is appealing her conviction and sentence on 42 different grounds, including the assertion that she was sentenced for a crime for which she was never charged.
"The learned trial judge erred in making findings that were not in accordance with the counts before the court and in sentencing the accused for actions that were an offence not charged, such as improperly or indecently interfering with (human remains), or infanticide or of failing to properly dispose of a dead body," states the notice of appeal filed by Giesbrecht's defence team in August.
The charges against Giesbrecht were never upgraded to include homicide offences, and the Crown told the court the police investigation was thwarted by how much time had passed before the bodies were discovered. The bodies of full-term and near-full-term fetuses were too badly decomposed for medical experts to determine how they died. Provincial court Judge Murray Thompson ruled Giesbrecht would have known the babies would likely be born alive after a medical expert testified the chance of all six being stillborn was one in 500 trillion.
"Giesbrecht concealed each of these six pregnancies, even from her husband. She bagged each of the bodies, sealed them or encased them in cement or powder, all in an effort to contain the smell of human decomposition and decay," the judge said in his decision.
Katie May reports on courts, crime and justice for the Free Press.