Man accused of sexually abusing son acquitted

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 December, 2006, 12:00am

A divorced father facing six charges of indecently assaulting his 13-year-old son was acquitted yesterday by a judge who found there was a possibility that the boy may have been influenced by his mother to lie about the alleged molestation.

District Court Deputy Judge Sham Siu-man found that a conviction against the 55-year-old unemployed man could not be secured for six offences alleged to have taken place between March and April.

The matter was reported to police after the mother told a social worker on April 10 her son had complained of being sexually molested by his father.

The court heard that the father was arrested for the alleged sexual abuse the following day, April 11, a day before a family court was due to hear the father's application for a change in the terms of the child's custody. Earlier, the father made the application on the grounds that the mother was mentally ill.

The court heard that the child's parents were divorced in 2002 and a family court had granted the mother custody, with the child spending weekends at the father's home on So Uk Estate, in Cheung Sha Wan.

Judge Sham noted the boy last year submitted to the family court a letter describing his father as a good and loving one. However, in this week's hearing, the boy withdrew this description, saying that he had lied to the family court on the instructions of his father.

Judge Sham found that this made the boy's latest testimony unreliable: 'The point is that if this boy had lied to a court before, would he lie to this court again?'

The judge said that if the boy could have been influenced by his father to write a letter to the family court, he could also have been influenced by his mother in relation to the allegations of sexual abuse.