Woman accused of throwing baby into rubbish chute expected to plead guilty

The Singaporean is said to have committed the offence at a Housing Board block in Bedok North on Jan 7. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A woman accused of throwing her baby into a rubbish chute is expected to plead guilty on July 30, a district court heard on Thursday (July 2)

The 26-year-old Singaporean is said to have committed the offence at a Housing Board block in Bedok North on Jan 7.

She was later caught and charged on Feb 15 with exposure and abandonment of a child under 12 years old.

The woman cannot be named because of a gag order to protect the baby's identity.

On Jan 7, two town council cleaners were at the block of flats collecting rubbish when they heard an infant crying from one of the bins.

They later spotted a baby boy in a wet and bloody plastic bag.

One of the cleaners then informed the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), and an ambulance rushed the baby to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh, then one of the MPs for Aljunied GRC where the block is located, had earlier said that "a million thoughts" passed through his head when he saw pictures of the baby left in the bin.

He stated in a Facebook post: "Had the worker not found the blessed child, he/she could have been crushed by the compactor where all rubbish is centrally disposed of in the precinct.

"Thankful to the Singapore Police Force and staff at the AHTC Kaki Bukit office for their assistance over this incident... And a prayer for everyone distressed by this painful news."

In an update to The Straits Times in January, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said the baby was in a stable condition in hospital.

Court documents, however, do not state his current condition and where he is now.

Police arrested the alleged offender on Feb 13 after looking through images from police cameras, as well as other closed-circuit television footage provided by residents and businesses in the neighbourhood.

In the past 10 years, there have been 17 cases of abandoned babies in Singapore, according to statistics from the MSF.

Last year, the ministry handled one case of an abandoned baby. There were no reported cases in 2017 and 2018.

In 2016, two abandoned babies were found alive. One was abandoned at a hospital, and the other was left at the staircase of an HDB block.

Parents who abandon their child under the age of 12 can be jailed for up to seven years or fined, or given both punishments.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.