II freed to save her dying mother

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 January, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 January, 1996, 12:00am

AN emotional plea by an illegal immigrant to be set free so she could donate her kidney to her dying mother won over an appeal court judge yesterday.

'The only way to save my mother is to donate a kidney to her,' 22-year-old Chung Lai-ching said.

'I am her only daughter and I am the best person to donate to her.

'Please send me back to China as soon as possible to allow me to save my mother and to allow me to be a good daughter.' Chung was arrested on May 21 last year, at Tai Wo Hau MTR station.

She was carrying forged identification and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

She appeared yesterday in the High Court to appeal against her sentence.

Mr Justice Duffy said even though he was suspicious of the authenticity of a medical certificate Chung presented, he would give her the benefit of the doubt.

'I will not take the risk of preventing you from saving your mother,' he said.

During her appeal, Chung had presented Mr Justice Duffy with a certificate from a hospital in Guangzhou.

The document stated the person named on the paper had received regular kidney dialysis but needed a kidney transplant to save her life.

The doctor said a successful donor must be someone who was related to the patient, and the daughter would be the best match.

The judge was suspicious of the document's authenticity because the age of the woman named on the certificate was 37 - only 15 years older than Chung herself. But Chung explained that her mother was now 40 and the listed age was when she first began treatment.

Mr Justice Duffy asked for further proof that the person named was Chung's mother, but was told it would take about three months for Interpol to obtain the information from mainland authorities.

'My sentence will be over in two months,' Chung said. 'I will be free by then and I don't know how my mother will be by then.' When Mr Justice Duffy said he would release Chung immediately, she burst into tears.