x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Couple in Dubai kept illegitimate child's birth secret for eight years, court hears

Parents, charged with endangering life of their child, kept daughter's birth secret by delivering her at home and prevented her from going to school or seeing a doctor.

DUBAI // A couple kept their illegitimate daughter a secret for eight years by preventing her from going to school or to the doctor, a court heard today.

The child's parents, KD, 42, an Emirati ex-armed forces employee, and his Russian lover MZ, 29, kept the birth of the child secret by delivering her at home in Bur Dubai.

During the next eight years of her life they prevented her from going to school so that authorities would not learn of her existence. They also prevented her from gaining medical assistance, failing to vaccinate her and treating any illnesses she suffered by themselves.

Prosecutors said police discovered the child's plight on March 4 this year after a tip off from a member of the public.

The mother said she arrived in the country in 2001 and worked in a furniture shop before meeting the Emirati at a nightclub a year later and falling in love.

She lived with him at his home in Al Safa until 2003 she fell pregnant by him. "I delivered at home, with his help to cut the umbilical cord with a scissors, I didn't go to any hospital," she recalled, adding that the man's family believed the pair were married.

She said she had often asked the man to marry her but that he would stall whenever she did so.

"We are connected by love," she said.

The father admitted that his daughter had asked him several times to send her to a school, but they ignored the request.

At the Misdemeanours Court both mother and father admitted a charge of sex-outside-of-marriage, but denied a charge of endangering the child's life. They claimed they had raised her well and taken good care of her.

The mother was also charged with overstaying her visa. She asked for bail but was refused.

The father told the court he would marry the mother and the case was adjourned to May 21.

salamir@thenational.ae