A mother on trial for throwing her two children off a balcony before jumping after them herself has said she is sorry.
The three-year-old girl died of a traumatic brain injury in the 5-metre (16-foot) fall, which took place in Saarbrucken, the capital and largest city of the south-western German state of Saarland, in July 2022.
The one-year-old survived the plunge, as did the 39-year-old mother.
Now on trial at the Saarbrucken District Court, she revealed she was “so sorry” for throwing her two daughters off the balcony when she appeared on Wednesday, 11th January.
She said: “I’m incredibly sorry for how much suffering and grief I caused.”
The incident took place when the trio were visiting the children’s grandparents. The one-year-old and the defendant survived the fall.
The defendant claimed at the beginning of the trial that she suffered from “a mixture of depression and psychosis” which caused a “knee-jerk reaction”, This led to her throwing the children off the balcony and jumping as well, she said.
She also told the court that she had felt bullied by fellow patients at a psychiatric day clinic and had spontaneous thoughts of suicide. She also did not want to leave her children alone.
In retrospect, she said that she made a big mistake and that she had failed to listen to the advice of doctors from the day clinic and had not taken her medication.
She said that if she had, “this terrible act” might have been prevented.
The public prosecutor has accepted that the defendant suffers from mental illness and can therefore not be held responsible for her actions. But they have recommended that she be committed to a special psychiatric facility.
The woman had initially been investigated for murder and attempted murder after the police determined that because of their young age, the children had not been able to climb over the railings of the balcony themselves, and that the mother must have lifted them over it.
The next trial date has been set for 26th January, when the father of the children and the defendant’s parents will be heard.
The trial is ongoing.