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3-month hospital treatment for mom who left baby on sidewalk

21 September 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina who was found guilty of abandoning her year-old baby boy on a street in Wanchai on Oct 19 last year was sentenced by a magistrate in Eastern Court to three months in a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Magistrate Cheng Lim-chi meted out the non-custodial sentence on Sept 13 after the defense lawyer presented two psychiatric reports that recommended hospital treatment for the mother, Angelita Labador, for mental problems that led her to commit the offense.

“Defendant, I hear that hospital treatment is recommended for you. You are ordered to serve three months in hospital where you will receive treatment,” Cheng told Labador, who was said to be on recognizance.

“I believe that after treatment, you will feel a lot better. Depending on the results of the treatment, you should be able to resume your normal life,” the magistrate said, after telling the woman she would not be sent to prison.

The defense lawyer told Labador after the hearing that if she decides to go back to the Philippines after her treatment, she can apply for Immigration clearance and ask the Social Welfare Department to arrange her return home with her child.

The child was placed in the custody of the SWD after the incident, the court was told.
Labador, 38, was found guilty after trial on Aug 30 of a charge of “ill-treatment or neglect by those in charge of child or young person”. Her trial was delayed as the court allowed time for a psychiatric evaluation of the defendant.

The lawyer, briefing Labador at the dock before the hearing, said the doctors who examined her had recommended psychiatric treatment in hospital after finding that her brain had been affected by her regular use of methamphetamine.     

Labador was arrested on Oct 19 after an Indian female neighbor saw her leave her year-old baby boy on the pavement next to a rubbish bin near Tung Wah Centenary Square Garden at 284 Queen’s Road East.

Police found the baby conscious at 6:49 pm and sent him to Ruttonjee Hospital for a check-up. They later arrested Labador, who was crying and hiding nearby. In an interview by police, she claimed she was mentally unfit to give a statement.

After Labador posted bail, she stayed in a shelter run by the International Social Service Hong Kong, which also assisted her.

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