Kissing distressed pupil a grave breach of trust, teacher told

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 January, 2011, 12:00am

A secondary school teacher who took a 15-year-old student for a ride in his car at night and kissed her against her will was criticised by a magistrate yesterday for abusing his position of power.

Eric Tsang Wing-cheung, 46, who taught economics at a school in Siu Sai Wan, was convicted in Eastern Court of indecent assault and two counts of indecent conduct towards a child.

Magistrate Adriana Tse said it was a serious breach of trust. Tsang had set a bad example because he was dishonest during police interviews, and should no longer be a teacher, she said. Tse adjourned sentencing to February 11 for a background report. Tsang was remanded in custody.

On the evening of July 1, Tsang, who knew that the girl was upset because of relationship problems, drove her to Lei King Wan - an area by the sea at Sai Wan Ho. He held her hand and offered consolation, saying that many people cared about her. He asked her to hug him and kissed her on the cheek.

The girl testified that Tsang had also asked her to kiss him, saying that she was like a daughter to him.

The girl told the court she was disgusted but she complied, fearing that he would single her out at school.

The magistrate said the kiss was indecent because of the girl's age and the circumstances. 'The victim was unwilling to go beyond a teacher-pupil relationship,' she said.

At the time of the incident, the girl was a Form Four student at the school where Tsang taught. He has been suspended.

Tsang admitted to the court that the school had issued a guideline warning teachers to avoid being alone with students. He said he had been careless on that occasion.

However, three former students of Tsang, who were character witnesses, told the court they had all spent time alone with him. The magistrate said the girls were simple-minded and criticised Tsang for taking advantage of them.