x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Woman confesses to burying baby out of wedlock on Dubai beach

A dying baby was turned away from a hospital because its mother could not afford the medical fees, a court has been told.

DUBAI // A dying baby was turned away from a hospital because its mother could not afford the medical fees, a court was told today.

The baby girl later died and was buried on Jumeirah Public Beach by her unmarried parents.

The Filipina mother, who was appearing at the Criminal Court on charges of sex outside of wedlock, endangering a child by failing to provide medical care and burying a body without a permit, said her newborn baby girl was bleeding from the mouth and nose.

She told the court that she took her to Zulekha Hospital but she was turned away after being told treatment would cost Dh26,000.

“We didn’t have that money so we couldn’t get her admitted,” she said.

The next day her boyfriend called to tell her the two-day-old girl had died. That evening, they put the baby’s body in a shoe box and buried her on the beach, about 30 metres from the shore.

She said she urged her boyfriend to report the baby’s death to police but he insisted on burying the body, which was found by a lifeguard after it was exposed by the tide.

J?A, 30, pleaded for judges to show her mercy.

“I would have loved to provide my child with all the care it needed but I was afraid of being dismissed from work if they knew I had a child out of wedlock,” she said.

“And I didn’t have the money for the medical care the baby needed.”

The woman admitted all of the charges. Her boyfriend faces similar charges but remains at large.

“He took advantage of me to satisfy himself,” she said. “I know it was with my consent but he used me, and when he refused to listen to my advice he put me through a trouble that brought me in front of you today.”

Prosecutors said the girl was born on January 1 this year, 32 weeks into the mother’s pregnancy.

The mother, who worked at the Cooperative Union, gave birth at her workers’ accommodation in Al Quoz.

The birth was witnessed by her roommate M?R, 30.

“She put the baby in a bag so no one could see her when she left the accommodation,” the roommate recalled. “The baby weighed about one kilogram.”

The mother confided in another colleague, D?H, 29, also a Filipina.

“She told me she took medicine to help her give birth at her room in the accommodation,” said the colleague.

She said the mother had previously lived in Al Satwa with the child’s father.

“She called me one day after she left the accommodation and she was crying. She told me the baby died after she started bleeding from her nose and mouth,” the colleague said.

A week later the mother returned to her workers’ accommodation and told the colleague she and her boyfriend had buried the baby.

The colleague called police on January 10.

A verdict is expected on April 25.

salamir@thenational.ae