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Winnipeg woman who concealed infant remains in storage locker released following appeal

WATCH: Winnipeg lawyer Greg Brodsky, who represented Andrea Giesbrecht, said she was released Tuesday.

A Winnipeg woman convicted of concealing numerous fetuses in a storage locker is now free.

Justice Christopher J. Mainella wrote in the Manitoba Cout of Appeal’s decision, released Tuesday, that Andrea Giesbrecht’s sentence of 8.5 years was too harsh for the crimes for which she was convicted.

“The accused was never convicted of any violent act or neglect in relation to a live child. I disagree with the Crown that the judge ‘correctly characterized the nature of the offences in his [sentencing] reasons,'” Mainella wrote.

READ MORE: Andrea Giesbrecht, woman convicted of concealing infants’ remains, denied bail

Giesbrecht was arrested on Oct. 20, 2014, when six dead infants were found wrapped in towels and stored inside plastic containers in a U-Haul storage locker she had been renting.

She pleaded not guilty to six counts of concealing infant remains and had been free on bail since she was arrested in 2014.

Giesbrecht’s lawyer, Greg Brodsky, appealed the sentence, saying it was too severe.

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Defence lawyer explains the decision for reduced Giesbrecht sentence
Defence lawyer explains the decision for reduced Giesbrecht sentence

“She doesn’t seem like the worst offender,” Brodksy said in July 2018.

“She didn’t throw (the remains) in a landfill dump… she didn’t put it in a garbage bin, she didn’t chop it up. There were no marks on the product of conception to show she was interfering with them being born.”

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Mainella reduced Giesbrecht’s sentence to three years and gave credit for 252 days served.

Read the full decision here:

“[Her crime] is a crime of dishonesty — nothing more,” wrote the judge.

“This is a deeply disturbing case. We will never know why these six little lights went dark due to the accused’s appalling dishonesty. However, just as the mighty are not above the law, the unpopular are not outside of its protections, even on facts as troubling as here.

“The original sentence assumed certain culpable actions by the accused of which she was never tried or convicted,” Mainella added.

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Giesbrecht was released from prison Tuesday, Brodksy confirmed.

“She was super excited … it was a tough case. I mean, the public was not sympathetic. And it was a tough case, and the fact that we won meant the world to her.”

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Brodsky said she was serving her time at an out-of-province institution but would not name the prison.

“She’s going to have to be careful in what she does because the public is going to be looking to her to make a misstep,” he said.

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WATCH: ‘I don’t think she’d keep the bodies on her mantel’ — Lawyer argues preservation in Giesbrecht case

‘I don’t think she’d keep the bodies on her mantel’: Lawyer argues preservation in Giesbrecht case
‘I don’t think she’d keep the bodies on her mantel’: Lawyer argues preservation in Giesbrecht case

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the judge who wrote the Manitoba Court of Appeal decision.