A Canadian woman has been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison after she hid the remains of six babies in a storage locker.

She was found guilty earlier in the year for storing the remains in plastic bins in a U-haul storage unit in Winnipeg.

The court has never heard an explanation as to what prompted her to hide the babies she conceived over many years.

The remains of all six babies were linked to Giesbrecht and her husband through DNA evidence. She hid the pregnancies from her husband and did not seek medical treatment for them, reports CBC Canada.

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"These were newly delivered infants, our most vulnerable. ... The only person who can protect a newly delivered infant is their mother," Judge Murray Thompson said at Friday's sentencing hearing.

"She knew she had medical options and chose not to access them."

The remains were too decomposed to determine how they died. One infant's remains were encased in concrete, and another's in a detergent-like powder.

"She bagged each of the bodies, sealed them or encased them in cement or powder, all in an effort to contain the smell of human decomposition and decay," Thompson said.

"Giesbrecht knew these children were likely to have been born alive and she wished to conceal the fact of their delivery and existence."

Her lawyer, Greg Brodsky, said he was surprised at the severity of the sentence and said his client didn't kill anyone.

"There were no marks, as you know, on the fetuses or products of conception to show that she self-induced an abortion and killed anybody. She can't be sentenced as if she did," he said.

He will advise Giesbrecht to appeal the sentence.

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