Taxi driver who assaulted woman during ‘ceremony to remove ghosts’ jailed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 February, 2014, 2:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 4:23am

A married taxi driver who rubbed up against a woman while conducting an exorcism has been sentenced to one month in jail.

Lai Kin-pui, 44, convinced his insurance agent that she was "being bothered by a male and a female ghost" and that he had the power to remove them, Tuen Mun Court heard earlier.

During a purported "cleansing ritual" on the woman at his brother's Tuen Mun flat on the evening of July 17, Lai told her to hold him tightly, pressed his body against hers and blew air into her ears. She felt uneasy and left.

"The process lasted for several minutes … [the woman] felt disgusted," said Magistrate Winnie Lau Yee-wan.

"The defendant showed no remorse in his psychologist's report and should no doubt be jailed immediately."

The court earlier heard that the woman's grandmother died a few days before the incident. The woman was described as "superstitious" by her boyfriend.

Defence counsel Mark Wei cited experts' reports that found Lai had a "low to medium chance of recommitting a similar offence" and noted the woman was no longer his insurance agent. Lai had a stable family life, said the lawyer. His wife and brother were in court to show their support.

Lai had committed an offence of a different nature 28 years ago. But his record had been clear in recent years.

Lai had pleaded not guilty to indecent assault.