Mother who made up abduction story after dumping dead body of her baby is jailed
It was "unimaginable" that a mother could dump the dead body of her six-month-old baby girl in a rubbish bin, a judge said yesterday, sentencing her to five years in jail.
Judge Amanda Woodcock said even pet owners would not dispose of their dead pets in a bin the way Ng Tin-yan did her daughter Yu Hoi-ching. "How a mother could was unimaginable," she said.
The judge described the crime as "planned and well thought out", citing the 33-year-old's online research on ways to dispose of the child and how she falsely filled out a feeding schedule to pretend her baby was still alive.
"[This behaviour] is removed from how a bereaved mother [would] act," she said. "You have shocked the public."
Ng previously pleaded guilty to perverting public justice and preventing lawful burial of a dead body.
The judge said that Ng's lie caused more than 100 police officers to embark on search operations, costing taxpayers up to HK$1.8 million.
And because of her false claims, public sympathy was raised along with fears among local mothers.
"A lengthy sentence is therefore required to reflect the seriousness of the offence," the judge said.
The court previously heard that Ng discovered her daughter was not breathing on November 17. Out of fear, she wrapped Hoi-ching inside layers of plastic bags before dumping the baby's body in a shared refuse bin on the same floor as her flat in San Po Kong Mansion in Wong Tai Sin.
She told the court she did not know how the baby died or remember on which day she disposed of the child.
The police got involved on November 23 after Ng claimed Hoi-ching was snatched away by a woman with a mainland accent and a man.
Police arrested Ng on December 2, after finding internet searches on her mobile phone for "murder psychology", "disposal of dead bodies" and "dumping babies".
In mitigation, defence counsel David Boyton said reports ordered by the court on Ng said she knew her action was "wrong" and "idiotic", and she had felt remorseful ever since. She had been under stress over the souring relationship with her boyfriend, he added, and her failure to inform others about the baby's death stemmed from her tendency to conceal her difficulties in order to appear tough.
But Judge Woodcock said that argument contradicted the deliberateness of Ng's actions. She added that only Ng knew how the baby died.