baby silhouette
baby silhouette. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: A maid, who suffocated her illegitimate baby boy to death shortly after giving birth to him in a washroom, was sentenced to life after a court convicted her of premeditated murder on Wednesday.

The Filipina maid, 32, was living in the house of her sponsor’s sister in Al Nahda. She had gotten pregnant out of wedlock earlier in 2017.

In September 2017, the maid told her sponsor and her sister that she had a stomach ache, before she locked herself in the washroom for nearly two hours.

When she walked out, she was holding a plastic bag and had bloodstains on her clothes. She then collapsed on the couch after leaving the bag in the kitchen.

When the sponsor and her sister asked what was wrong, she claimed she was suffering from menstrual pain. As her condition worsened, they rushed her to hospital where they were informed that she had delivered a baby.

When the maid’s health stabilised, she admitted to police that she had a baby out of wedlock and killed him. Investigators inspected her residence and found the plastic bag containing a foetus.

On Wednesday morning, the Dubai Court of First Instance jailed the woman for life.

The defendant walked towards presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi who read out the judgement, according to which she will be deported after her sentence.

In a previous hearing, the judge had referred the accused to be examined by a special committee of psychiatrists.

Following the examination, the Filipina defendant, who had pleaded not guilty, was found to be sane and accountable for her actions.

Records said the policeman who checked the bag found the newborn, who was not breathing, with a piece of cloth stuffed inside his mouth.

The Filipina’s sponsor testified in court, saying: “When I asked her, she claimed that she was suffering from menstrual pain. Then she entered the washroom, where she remained for nearly two hours. I knocked on the door and asked her to open several times, but she didn’t respond. When she came out, she was carrying a bag that she put in the kitchen ... then she came and slept on the couch. When I realised she had been bleeding, I called an ambulance. In the hospital, emergency doctors told us that she had just given birth,” the sponsor said.

The primary judgement remains subject to appeal within 15 days.