Probation for single mum who left 5 children at home to window-shop

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 February, 2008, 12:00am

A single mother who abandoned her five young daughters at home for several hours while she went window-shopping at a mall has been handed a two-year probation order.

But in handing down the order for Hon Pui-shan, 28, Tsuen Wan Court Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma Hon-cheung said he had sympathy for her situation as she had suffered an unfortunate childhood and an unhappy marriage.

Hon pleaded guilty to a child abuse charge at an earlier hearing and admitted that on November 24 she went to the shopping mall for two hours. Police broke into the cluttered flat in Kwai Chung and found the girls aged between 18 months and seven years with no water and a few slices of bread on the sofa for food.

The 18-month-old was naked, the house was filthy and excrement was found in the living room, the court heard earlier.

Two of the girls are in foster care and the rest are under the care of the Po Leung Kuk charity.

The magistrate said yesterday he considered the crime one of negligence rather than physical abuse because at the time of her crime she was stressed from not only caring for the five children, but dealing with the impending break-up of her marriage.

On top of her probation, the magistrate also ordered her to seek psychological treatment.

In a separate case yesterday, a Fanling Court heard a single mother left her 11-year-old son home alone without food or money in a flat with no water or electricity.

Thai native Tsang Roongroeng, 46, who is on bail, pleaded guilty to child abuse in August and will be sentenced on March 26 after a probation report is returned to the court.

The woman claims she left to stay with a friend and gave her elder daughter, Tsang Sin-ling, 18, money to take care of the boy, but she did not. Her daughter, on a similar charge, was given an HK$800 good behaviour bond.