4 dead babies hidden in wardrobe for 20 years

Bernadette Quirk, 55, who gave birth to four babies at her home during a ten-year period in her life, hid the bodies of three stillborn babies in a wardrobe with an air freshener for up to 20 years.

But she claims they were all stillborn and instead of informing the authorities she simply wrapped them in newspaper, sheets and plastic bags.

She kept three dead babies in a plastic bin in her wardrobe while a fourth baby girl was illegally buried in a local cemetery, reports The Daily Mail.

She admitted four counts of concealing births when she appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday.

She said she gave birth to the babies between 1985 and 1995 when her marriage ended and she hit the bottle. But she could not be more specific.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Bickley said Quirk had "a chaotic lifestyle' after the failure of her marriage in the late 1980s and 'had a number of sexual encounters".

There was no explanation about why she carried the remains about - moving home several times in the intervening years.

Two of the babies in the bin were twins - and all four were girls, though Quirk said she only remembered three of them.

At the end of July last year, Quirk's daughter, Lee, discovered the remains of three babies at her mother's house in Harlow Close.

Officers searched the property and arrested Lee and her mother, an ex-care home assistant, and launched a homicide inquiry. Lee was eventually released without charge.

The defendant told detectives she gave birth to the babies at her old home in Brandreth Close, St Helens, and they were all stillborn.

Forensic tests could not prove otherwise and the twice married alcoholic could only be charged with concealing birth.

Meanwhile, scientists said all the babies were full term, but they could not determine the cause of the stillbirths.

The investigation, and Quirk's inability to remember details, presented detectives with a series of problems.

Bickley said: "We have pieced it together by speaking to people who know her. It was a very difficult investigation and not something I have experience of and made harder by the passage of time and the condition of the babies."

As she awaits sentence, Quirk's relatives plan to give the four babies a proper burial. She will be sentenced on October 11 after pre-sentencing reports have been prepared.


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