A five-year-old girl has been taken into care after a woman who was asked to look after her while her father was in prison handed the child to police, claiming she couldn’t support her.
The child’s father, who is Sri Lankan, was already serving time for cheque fraud and has now been jailed for a year after being convicted of having an illegal affair.
He had been raising his daughter, Elina, alone after the girl’s mother was deported back to the Philippines for staying in the UAE illegally, shortly after Elina was born in Sharjah in 2009. The 35-year-old had asked his friend to look after Elina when he was held in January on bounced cheque charges.
However, after 20 days the woman took the girl to Muraqabbat Police Station.
“He was my neighbour. He asked me to go to the Sri Lankan consulate to issue ID for the girl to send her home, but I couldn’t as Elina has no certificates. I gave her to Dubai Police as I can’t take care of her due to my job,” the 34-year-old Sri Lankan woman said. The father told police that Elina was the product of a legitimate marriage.
“We have a marriage certificate, but the mother took it when she was deported. I couldn’t issue any ID for Elina as I was staying illegally in the country,” he said. However, the father could not produce documents to back up his statement, so he was charged with having an illegal affair.
He was fined Dhs3,000 in the bounced cheque case, but Dubai Public Prosecution made a second case against him and the Filipina mother for having an illegal affair. In court yesterday he pleaded guilty to the affair. The judge sentenced him to one year in jail and deportation. The mother was also sentenced to a year in absence.
“I’m guilty of having an illegal affair with her and the girl is staying in the women and children’s care centre in Al Awir area,” the father said in court. DNA tests proved that the defendant is the biological father. Public prosecution is helping to issue her with a passport.
Elina is now in the women and children’s centre next to Dubai Central Jail, where her father will serve out his sentence.