Australian nurse Tammy Davis-Charles has been jailed for one-and-a-half years by a Cambodian court for providing illegal surrogacy services in the country.
Cambodia banned commercial surrogacy in 2016 after becoming a popular destination for would-be parents seeking women to give birth to their children.
Davis-Charles, who was arrested in November, appeared stunned on Thursday as the Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge read the guilty verdict for her and two Cambodian associates.
Wearing orange prison clothes, the mother of six cried as she was led out of the courtroom and did not take questions from the media.
The court also ordered Davis-Charles to pay four million riel – about $A1200 – in fines.
The Cambodian defendants, Samrith Chakriya and Penh Rithy, were also jailed for 18 months and fined two million riel each.
Chakrya, who served as an interpreter for Davis-Charles, cried when she heard the verdict and said she would appeal.
Sam Everingham, a director at Australian non-profit group Families Through Surrogacy said: "The 18-month sentence is, I believe, to many Australians very harsh given Tammy Charles' motivations were simply to help childless couples create a family.
"Her sentence also needs to be considered in the context of there being no clear laws around surrogacy in Cambodia at the time."
— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) August 3, 2017