File picture: Pexels

Marburg - A German court handed down a life sentence on Thursday to a former nurse who deliberately endangered newborns by giving them needless sedatives or anaesthetics.

The court sitting in the central city of Marburg found that the 30-year-old woman, who was assigned to look after premature babies, had administered the drugs to three baby girls and found her guilty of attempted murder.

In a verdict that recalled the recent case of serial murderer and nurse Niels Hoegel, the court said the woman acted out of a craving for attention. Prosecutors had said the nurse administered the drugs in order to show off her skills in reviving infants.

The case is the latest in a series of crimes committed by medical staff at German hospitals. Serial murderer Hoegel is serving a life sentence after being found guilty of killing 85 patients with a similar motive, while working as a nurse at hospitals in northern Germany between 1999 and 2005.

The woman accepted her sentence without apparent emotion and was immediately detained.

The crimes were committed in the unit for premature babies at the Marburg University Hospital between December 2015 and February 2016.

"Someone like this belongs behind bars for the terrible thing she did to the children," one of the mothers of the babies said. While her daughter did in fact die, the court said this was for a different reason.

dpa