Moscow: A 40-year-old Russian woman was on Monday sentenced to 20 years in jail for brutally murdering 17 elderly women with a hammer over an eight-year period.

Irina Gaidamachuk, a mother of two, murdered the women and robbed them. She began her crimes in 2003, said a court in the Urals region.

Gaidamachuk confessed to fraudulently entering the homes of her victims — aged between 61 and 89 — and killing them with a hammer before robbing their flats.

She was found sane by psychiatric experts.

Investigators said she became acquainted with the pensioners, won their trust and offered to help them around the house. Once inside, she killed them and stole their money.

Gaidamachuk was arrested in Krasnoufimsk town in June 2010. She will also have to pay 30,000 rubles (around Dh3,300) as legal expenses.