14 Feb 2017

Woman jailed for abandoning children

6:46 am on 14 February 2017

An overstayer who gave birth to her children under assumed identities and later abandoned them has been jailed.

Coat of Arms inside the High Court in Rotorua

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Yuruo Qin initially used a stolen driver's licence and then a passport when she went to Auckland Hospital to have the children.

She abandoned her first child when the girl was 14 months old, and her son eight years later when he was four.

Qin had since had a third child and was pregnant with her fourth, Auckland District Court was told yesterday.

Qin came to New Zealand from China as an 18-year-old in 2001. Two years later immigration authorities lost contact with her and she had been an overstayer ever since, working as a cleaner and a sex worker.

She used a driver's licence stolen from an acquaintance to register with health authorities before giving birth to her daughter at Auckland hospital in 2006 under the assumed name.

She later went back to work and would leave her daughter in the care of her landlord. When her daughter was 14 months old, Qin left for work one day and never came home. The child was eventually handed over to the care of Child Youth and Family.

By 2012, Qin was pregnant again. This time she used a stolen passport to register with the hospital under another name and had a baby boy.

When the boy was four she left him in the care of a family she knew, saying she had health problems. Apart from one visit, she didn't see him again. The child went into the care of Child Youth and Family.

Judge Claire Ryan read part of their victim impact statements in court yesterday. Qin's daughter does not want anything to do with her.

"Once is particularly bad but twice is unacceptably bad. We're just lucky the police got involved before the same thing happened to the third," Judge Ryan said.

According to the girl's foster mother, she cried for the first six weeks and only slept in half-hour bursts.

She was very clingy and didn't want to be left alone. The girl also didn't want Qin to have a photo of her, for fear that Qin would come and take her back.

Qin's son is unable to talk about what has happened to him and shows signs of post traumatic stress disorder. He has refused to talk at all for periods of three weeks.

The person who wrote the boy's statement said without serious help his behaviour could affect his ability to learn.

"They are young, vulnerable and innocent and you let them down," Judge Ryan said.

Qin's third child is in the care of her partner who is planning to return with Qin to China once she has completed her sentence.

She is now pregnant with her fourth child.

At the time of abandoning her children, Qin was on the run for using someone else's bank details.

In total, she took over $18,000 in withdrawals and eftpos transactions.

Judge Ryan took time off her sentence for her early guilty pleas.

Her lawyer, Michael Kan, argued his client was remorseful for what she had done but Judge Ryan did not accept that.

She said a letter written by Qin to the court was no different from many others that only expressed sorrow when contemplating a jail sentence.

Qin spoke of having two wonderful children but Judge Ryan said she had broken their hearts, betrayed their feelings and breached their trust.

"You appeared disturbingly unconcerned at the fate of your children after you abandoned them."

She said Qin spoke of her love for her children but the judge said it was hard to reconcile that with her actions.

There was an application from police for reparations to be paid to Auckland Hospital for more than $22,000 - the costs of delivering Qin's three children.

Judge Ryan didn't make the order because Qin has no way of paying it.