The Filipina mother of the 15-year-old girl who fell from a 21-storey luxury apartment building in Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, last August was sentenced to 12 months in jail for overstaying, an online report said Friday.
The report on South China Morning Post said Herminia Garcia, 53, has been illegally staying in Hong Kong for more than 20 years after her visa expired in 1994.
Her partner, Nick Cousins, on the other hand, was sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for two years.
Cousins is a director with the Hong Kong branch of Jardine Lloyd Thompson, an insurance broker that describes itself on its website as "one of the world's leading providers of insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits."
The report said Magistrate So Wai-tak deemed Cousins' role a passive one as he only began supporting Garcia years after she began to overstay.
He, however, criticized the couple for depriving their two children of identity by refusing to apply for the necessary documents for their identification.
Police investigating the death of Garcia's daughter told SCMP in an earlier report that they were investigating the reasons behind the couple's children's lack of registration and formal education.
“The two girls did not go to school since they were born in Hong Kong. Investigations showed they only went to a private tutorial center to study,” a police source said.
A child neglect charge brought up against Garcia was dropped in August due to lack of evidence.
Garcia came to Hong Kong in 1990 to work as a domestic helper and began living with Cousins in 1994, the same year her visa expired.
She gave birth to two daughters in 1999 and 2000 in a private hospital, but never registered their births nor had their travel documents processed. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News