Dutch mother convicted of killing her 4 newborns

In this photo dated January 19, 2009, a pregnant woman walks down the street of the financial district in Singapore.

A Dutch mother identified as Sietske H. has been convicted of killing her four newborns in an effort to conceal her pregnancies from the father and her own parents.

The woman received a maximum 12-year prison sentence Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

Her arrest last year came after four decomposing bodies were found in suitcases in her attic.

She was convicted of one count of manslaughter and three counts of murder by a court in Leeuwarden in the north.

"The suspect's argument that she wanted to be the perfect daughter for her parents is understandable to a certain extent," read the judges' written statement. "It is incomprehensible that she let this wish override the lives of four newborn babies."

Radio Netherlands reported in April that the woman was a 26-year-old dental assistant.

The court questioned why the woman allowed herself to become pregnant, and why she did not have an abortion or give the babies up for adoption.

"This involves gruesome facts in which a completely defenseless baby was killed by their own mother with a pillow, but sometimes also with bare hands," the court said, as reported by BNO Netherlands. "It is a mystery why the suspect - after killing her first child - allowed to become pregnant three more times."