By Bassam Za’za'
Dubai: A woman was given a one-year jail sentence in a retrial on Monday for having sex outside marriage that resulted in her burying her baby at the beach.
The baby died one day after birth when 30-year-old Filipina, J.A., failed to provide her with proper medical care, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard.
Last week, the court sentenced J.A. in absentia to two years in jail after she was convicted of having sex with a fellow countryman, endangering the life of her baby then burying the child in a shoebox at the Jumeirah Open Beach.
The woman contested the ruling in absentia and a retrial was arranged for Monday.
“I did have consensual sex with my boyfriend and I conceded. After I gave birth to a baby girl, she fell very ill. My boyfriend and I took her to the hospital where we were asked to pay Dh26,000 for her to be admitted to hospital. We could not afford that amount of money… so we left. Her situation worsened the next day and so we put her in a shoebox and buried her at the beachside. I did not endanger her life and never meant to do so,” J.A. told presiding judge Ali Attiyah Sa’ad during the retrial.
On Monday, judge Sa’ad sentenced the Filipina to one year in jail followed by deportation.
J.A. had claimed she was forced to dispose of her baby, who died a day after delivery. The woman’s boyfriend, R.B., remains at large.
Prosecutors argued that the woman endangered the life of her baby, which was around 30, to 32-weeks-old, when she failed to provide her with proper medical care.
A lifeguard discovered the baby’s body around 11:30am on January 11.
The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days.