Judge Timothy Casewell on July 13 sentenced Maribel H. David, 38, to 14 months in prison after she pleaded guilty of taking the drug Cytotec to induce abortion, breach of condition of stay, and preventing the lawful burial of a body.
“This is a very serious offense and women should not be encouraged to do this,” Casewell said, noting that David induced the abortion when she was already eight months pregnant.
He sentenced David to two months in prison for overstaying and 12 months for taking a drug to abort the baby and dumping it in a trash bin.
Casewell said that if there was evidence that the baby David gave birth to was “viable,” she could have faced a longer jail sentence.
Nevertheless, Casewell said the case against David—that of taking a drug to induce abortion—was “rare” because it was usually the pharmacist who sold the drug that is prosecuted.
“The person who took the medicine is not prosecuted,” the judge said. “(David) was sold 12 tablets (of Cytotec). She should not have been given those. To do so was a serious breach on the part of the pharmacist.”
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David was seen crying after Judge Casewell announced her sentence. Her lawyer said she was remorseful and wanted to return to the Philippines, where her two children, aged 11 and 13, are living with their grandparents.
David earlier admitted to taking 12 tablets of Cytotec, adding that she learned from Google, the popular online search engine, that the drug was known to induce abortion.
David arrived in Hong Kong on Jun 19, 2012 to work as a domestic helper but she did not go home to the Philippines when her contract expired on July 3, 2014.
She met another domestic worker who allowed her to live in a rented flat at the State Theater Building in North Point.
“In May 2015, she learnt she was ( eight months) pregnant and her boyfriend, Mr. Mansira Artemio Maghari, was the father of the father of the baby,” said Public Prosecutor Janice Cheuk.
“She felt confused about the pregnancy and so she decided to go for an abortion,” she added.
Cheuk said David bought 20 tablets of Cytotec from a pharmacy in Tsim Sha Tsui on the morning of January 5.
“She took a total of 12 tablets for three times: at around 12 noon, 4 p.m., and 8 p.m. on the same day,” Cheuk said.
“Later, when she was walking near City Garden, she felt she had to deliver her baby,” the prosecutor added.
Cheuk said David, while on the roadside, jumped into a big black plastic bag which she got from a cart and delivered the baby.
“She did not hear any sound from the baby and she did not see it moving. She could not tell whether it was a boy or a girl,” Cheuk said.
“She then cut the umbilical cord with the scissors she brought with her. She put the baby in the said black plastic bag and dumped it into a rubbish bin nearby,” she added.
David later returned to her flat, where her flatmate noticed that she was pale and bleeding. David was brought to a hospital, where the police arrested her. The baby’s remains were never found.
Via : HongKongNews