26-year-old believed to be mother charged over abandoning baby in Bedok rubbish chute

Cleaners and police officers at Block 534 Bedok North Street 3, on Jan 7, 2020, where a baby boy was found abandoned in a rubbish chute.
Cleaners and police officers at Block 534 Bedok North Street 3, on Jan 7, 2020, where a baby boy was found abandoned in a rubbish chute.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Singaporean woman believed to be the mother of the baby boy abandoned in a Bedok North rubbish chute in January was charged in court on Saturday (Feb 15). 

The 26-year-old, whose identity cannot be revealed because of a gag order, was charged with exposure and abandonment of a child under 12 years old.

This charge, which refers to the leaving of a child in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning the child, carries with it a jail term of up to seven years, a fine, or both. 

She will be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation, with the case set to return to court on Feb 28. 

Gag orders are typically put in place to protect the identity of the victim, in this case, the abandoned baby.

The court on Saturday also issued a gag order for the boy.

On Jan 7, two town council cleaners at Block 543 Bedok North Street 3 were collecting rubbish from the refuse chute when they heard crying from one of the bins.

They found to their shock a baby boy in a wet and bloody Sheng Siong supermarket plastic bag.

The police said on Saturday that they arrested the woman on Thursday after looking through images from police cameras and other closed-circuit television footage provided by residents and businesses in the neighbourhood.

 

Residents had earlier said that the police had made their rounds on every floor of the block to ask them questions, and had called owners of vehicles parked at the open-air carpark near the block to ask for footage from their in-car cameras.

The police are still looking into the identity of the child's father.