A 20-year-old drowned her newborn child in a toilet bowl in May last year. In April she confessed to the crime and has now been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Little August’s life only lasted a few minutes. He was born, then his mother pushed him upside down into the toilet and flushed it. The infant drowned on May 1st last year.

Because of the crime, the now 20-year-old mother has to go to prison for three years and eight months. The Munich I Regional Court imposed the youth sentence on the young woman on Wednesday for manslaughter. Judge Christoph Limmer said in his verdict that she killed the infant because she was “in a dilemma” as part of a conservative Christian family with a child out of wedlock.

The public prosecutor’s office had demanded a youth sentence of seven years for murder, the defense two years for manslaughter. These should be put on probation. The defendant was not found to have base motives such as those that characterize murder.

The 20-year-old from Garching near Munich confessed to the crime at the start of the trial at the end of April. She particularly emphasized her relationship with her family, which has a total of eight siblings and is very much influenced by the Christian faith. The father was an anti-abortion activist. She feared that she would be “outcast” as the mother of an illegitimate child. “I have learned a lot and take full responsibility for my actions,” she told the court through her lawyer.

The court found this statement to be largely credible. The defendant, who still lived at home, saw no possibility of asserting herself against her family group. Therefore, she needs the time in prison to gain distance from her family, where the issue is suppressed and there is no chance of coming to terms with it, said Limmer.

The defendant’s pregnancy occurred as a result of an affair with a man who moved away shortly afterwards. The woman managed to keep the circumstances secret from her family until the end. Finally she gave birth to the child alone in her parents’ house. Shortly after the birth and killing of the infant, she was discovered by her mother and taken to the hospital. There she named the deceased baby August after her grandfather.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, the trainee decided to commit the crime primarily because she feared consequences for her career. However, no “blatant selfishness” was confirmed as a motive during the trial, Limmer said.

On the witness stand, the defendant’s father confirmed that abortion and illegitimate children did not fit into his strongly Catholic worldview. However, he would not have disowned his daughter. Her mother said she accepted the newborn. If necessary, it would have been raised by the family. This openness, said Limmer, was due to looking back at what happened. The defendant perceived the situation differently.