Date
17 January 2017
The defendant's lawyer asked the court for leniency, saying that she was in the process of having a divorce with her husband at that time while also bearing the child of her boyfriend who had left her. Photos: RTHK, Sina.com
The defendant's lawyer asked the court for leniency, saying that she was in the process of having a divorce with her husband at that time while also bearing the child of her boyfriend who had left her. Photos: RTHK, Sina.com

Mother pleads guilty to abandoning newborn child on staircase

A mother has pleaded guilty to abandoning her child and putting his life in danger during a hearing at a Tuen Mun magistrates’ court, am730 reports.

Chow Choi-ha, a 33-year-old mother of two in her current marriage, dumped her one-month-old son on a staircase of a building on Hop Yick Road in Yuen Long in November 2004, Apple Daily said.

A woman found the infant on Nov. 28, 2004 and took him to the Social Welfare Department.

He has been adopted by a foster family since 2005 and has no knowledge of the identities of his biological parents, the court heard.

An investigation by the Immigration Department showed that Chow gave birth to a boy at Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Oct. 31, 2004; however, she did not register his birth.

According to police, Chow admitted dumping her son one month after his birth since she could not find her boyfriend, the baby’s biological father, in all the addresses where she knew he was staying.

The defendant’s lawyer pleaded for leniency, saying that Chow, who was then only 22, was in the process of having a divorce with her husband at that time while also bearing the child of her boyfriend, who had left her and could not be found a month before she gave birth.

Out of despair, Chow fed her son and then left him on a staircase, hoping that some kind-hearted individuals would find him and take care of him.

The following morning, she regretted what she had done and tried to find her boy but in vain.

Since then, she has been haunted by guilt, the lawyer said.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 15 as the court awaits a report from her probation officer.

Meanwhile, the magistrate also ordered the probation officer not to reach out to the boy as well as his foster family, fearing that the truth would hurt him.

Chow’s current husband told reporters outside the court that he didn’t know of his wife’s past or her abandonment of her son.

He said he supports his wife’s decision to look for her son and he is willing to raise him as his own child. 

According to an investigation by the Immigration Department last year, her former boyfriend was a senior official in a garment factory.

In February this year, Chow was found guilty of making a false statement for denying she had given birth during an investigation by the Immigration Department.

She was jailed for 14 days for the offense.

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