Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted a 34-year-old-woman and sentenced her to 11 years in prison for kidnapping her friend’s five-month-old baby.
Presiding Judge Top Chhunheng identified the woman as Yin Sotheara, 34, a laundry shop worker in Sen Sok district.
Judge Chhunheng said that on the evening of March 8, Ms Sotheara visited her close friend at her home in Teuk Thla Commune.
While her friend was busy playing cards with other friends, Ms Sotheara snatched the baby, using tape to shut its mouth and carrying it outside the house in a plastic bag.
At 4am the next day, Ms Sotheara panicked and became convinced her friend would discover her crime, and so she abandoned the baby at a garbage dump in Kakab commune.
Judge Chhunheng said by that point, the tape had been removed from the baby’s mouth and villagers who heard the baby’s cries for help came to the rescue.
Police arrested Ms Sotheara later that day after the baby’s mother accused her of being behind the kidnapping.
Ms Sotheara admitted to her crime during her trial and yesterday said she would appeal against the sentence.
“I will appeal because it is too heavy a sentence for me,” she said outside the court.
During her trial, Ms Sotheara claimed she kidnapped the baby because she felt her friend was not caring for it properly and was always leaving it alone in a room crying as she played cards elsewhere with friends.
“I loved the baby and I wanted to take her as my daughter,” she said.
“But after taking her, I was afraid her mother would know it and police would arrest me, so I then took her to the garbage and fled.”