In the first court testimony since she was accused together with her partner Ronnie Ron of murdering her four-year-old daughter and Ron's granddaughter, Rose, Marie Pizem on Thursday described her troubled childhood at the Petah Tikva District Court.
"My alcoholic mother couldn't stand my presence," Marie told the court, "she would lock me in the basement and she often beat me."
Pizem also described how she was sexually abused by her father.
When she was 11, Pizem said, she was transferred to a Catholic boarding school after her mother was hospitalized in a psychiatric facility.
The prosecution has claimed that Pizem asked Ron "to get rid of Rose," but the mother's attorneys claim she did not know what had happened to her daughter, learning of her death only when Ron informed her of the matter.
"There's no doubt she was not a model mother and neglected her daughter," Pizem's attorney Revital Sweid told Army Radio.
But the lawyer stressed that neglect did not mean murder, and claimed that Marie, who speaks neither English nor Hebrew, "was helpless and completely at Ron's mercy."
In late September, Ron, the chief suspect in Rose's murder, testified that Pizem was unaware of what had happened to Rose until a few days before his arrest.
He also said that his partner was "the best mother in the world."