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Belgium: 'The Joker' Baby Killer Jailed
A Belgian man who stabbed two babies and a carer to death after he broke into a nursery dressed as Batman's nemesis The Joker has been jailed for life.
Kim De Gelder slashed babies, infants and their carers after he broke into the Fable Land nursery in Dendermonde, Belgium with his hair dyed red and his face painted white with black around his eyes.
He was found guilty of murdering the two babies - aged six and nine months - and a 54-year-old woman in January 2009, along with the attempted murder of 22 other people in the nursery.
De Gelder, now 24, was also convicted of the murder of an elderly woman in a separate attack a week earlier.
The trial had focused on De Gelder's mental state and whether his judgement was affected at the time of the murders.
But, after four hours of deliberation, the jury in Ghent found he was "not in a demonic state or mentally troubled".
During the trial, De Gelder described how he planned his crimes carefully, including practising how to slit throats on a wooden cutout in his apartment.
He also said that at the suggestion of his lawyer he had told psychiatrists that he had heard voices commanding him to kill.
Judge Koen Defoort told the court: "The defendant is guilty of murder, to have killed deliberately and with intent.
"The cowardly way in which the victims' lives were taken shows that Kim De Gelder totally lacks morals and empathy.
"You will be taken from society for a long time. I recommend that you use that time to think."
After the verdict, De Gelder said: "As it is now the last time I can speak to all these people, I wish to apologise for the suffering I caused for the victims and society.
"Furthermore I should add: to all the victims present in this room and I know you don't believe me, but I really am sorry."