Disturbed woman cuts baby from expectant mother's womb

A woman who faked her own pregnancy has pleaded guilty to cutting open the belly of a pregnant woman and trying to remove her baby, it was reported today. The infant later died.

Leung Sin-ting, 27, pleaded guilty in Hong Kong to charges of manslaughter and inflicting grievous bodily harm on the expectant mother, the South China Morning Post reported.

Prosecutors said Leung invited the woman, who was eight months pregnant, to her apartment last September after the two met on a childcare website. It was there that Leung strangled the woman with a cord until she passed out and then slashed a four-inch wound in her abdomen, it said.

The woman survived the attack but the infant died six months later after suffering wounds that caused brain damage and impaired bodily function, the newspaper reported.

Leung said she was jealous of the pregnant woman's happiness and wanted the child for herself, it said.

Details of the case were not released at the time of the crime and were only made public this week.

According to the news report, the prosecution said Leung, who claimed to have suffered miscarriages in 2003 and 2008, pretended to be pregnant by wearing towels tied under her clothes, according to the newspaper report.

She managed to persuade her husband of four years that she was carrying a baby and obtain a doctor's certificate to claim maternity leave, the newspaper said.

Sentencing was set for October 27 to give prosecutors time to determine whether Leung should be committed to a mental hospital and whether she posed a long-term risk to the community.

A similar case was reported in June in the United States, where a woman in Oregon was accused of cutting a foetus out of another expectant mother after they met during a search for baby clothes on the internet.

The woman was found dead in her apartment, and the accused was charged with kidnapping the infant girl.

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