The husband of a Winnipeg woman accused of hiding the remains of six infants said Wednesday he had no idea she was pregnant all six times, and was also unaware she had rented a storage locker where the remains were found.
“You have no idea why you would not know your wife was pregnant on those occasions?,” asked Crown attorney Debbie Buors.
“No,” Jeremy Giesbrecht replied in one of several one-word responses on the issue. He rarely looked at Buors and sat sideways in the witness box.
Andrea Giesbrecht was arrested in October 2014 after the remains were found in plastic containers in a U-Haul storage locker she had rented. Medical experts have testified the infants were at or near full term, were likely born alive and some were very decomposed when discovered.
The Crown has yet to suggest a motive for the alleged crime.
The judge hearing the case has also heard that Giesbrecht, 42, had several legal abortions since 1994 — her husband testified Wednesday he knew of those — and a miscarriage. The couple have two children together.
DNA evidence at the trial has linked the infants’ remains to Jeremy Giesbrecht and a soiled sanitary napkin found in the Giesbrecht home, although the defence has raised questions about whether the napkin might have been used by a female other than Andrea Giesbrecht.
The Crown tried to close the door on the DNA issue Wednesday by asking Jeremy Giesbrecht whether he has had sex with anyone other than his wife since their marriage in 1999.
He said no.
Earlier in the day, a woman who described herself as Andrea Giesbrecht’s best friend testified that Giesbrecht had rented a storage locker for several years — first at one company, then at U-Haul when she fell behind on payments at the first.
Liezl Collins said she and another friend tried to help Giesbrecht move whatever was in the storage locker to the U-Haul location in 2013.
“We offered help. Of course,” Collins testified. “She just did it herself.”
Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky has raised the idea that Giesbrecht may have had a medical issue that prevented her from carrying a baby to term in the years since her last child, now a teenager, was born. Brodsky pointed to medical records Wednesday that said Giesbrecht suffered a recurring menstrual disorder.
“Do you know whether it has anything to do with the ability to deliver a live child?” Brodsky asked Gayle Martens, the executive director of Manitoba’s medicare payment system for physicians.
The records would not contain that level of detail, Martens replied.