In the early hours of a Tuesday in September last year, Chong Ching-yuet, a 27-year-old nightclub waitress who had checked herself into a Mong Kok guest house for the night, awoke with severe stomach pains. Five hours later she gave birth, alone in her room, to a healthy baby girl. By 2.27pm, the baby was declared dead, found lying face down in the toilet bowl. When Chong was arrested that night she told police: 'I am scared. I gave birth to the baby. It kept crying so I threw it into the toilet bowl.' Yesterday she pleaded guilty to infanticide in the Court of First Instance, with Madam Justice Verina Bokhary adjourning sentencing to November 18. Hers was a common tale: a single mother who had not attended any antenatal clinics but had had three abortions in the past, impregnated then left by her boyfriend, the child a secret to family and friends. Chong had not been expecting the baby for another month, and was only checked into a guest house because her flatmate was on the mainland and she was locked out. After giving birth, Chong placed the baby in the toilet bowl, stuffed a soiled bed sheet into it and closed the lid, so others would not hear the crying. A guest house employee later found the baby, which a doctor said could have died from drowning, hypoglycaemia, hypothermia or breathing difficulties from being placed upside down after being born healthy. The court was told that the severe mental and physical exhaustion of giving birth impaired Chong's reasoning, but she did not suffer from any significant mental disorders. The court also heard that she had a criminal record including theft and drug possession, and had been in custody since January after finishing a jail term for another offence. Infanticide is classed as a special type of homicide in Hong Kong, with most sentences resulting in probation and counselling instead of jail. That results from British precedent, where judgments tacitly accept that most young mothers who commit the crime are in positions of desperation, and the biggest punishment inflicted on them will be by the act they have committed themselves.