Teacher to take stand again while lawyers query 'indecent assault' claim

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 January, 2013, 4:41am

A secondary school teacher who accused a pupil of indecent assault will take the stand again in March to respond to doubts that defence lawyers have cast on the credibility of her evidence.

The doubts stemmed from a lawyer's letter that the victim sent to defendant Ho Man-tai, 18, this month, in which she asked for compensation without mentioning the alleged sexual assault.

The teacher earlier told Tuen Mun Court that during a violent outburst on November 30, Ho touched her breast in a room at a Tin Shui Wai school.

The trial started on January 11 and Ho received the letter in the mail on January 17.

"In the letter, [the teacher] didn't mention anything related to the indecent assault," defence counsel Chan Pak-kong said. "[The defence] deems that she should not have concealed anything from her lawyer.

"If she had mentioned [the incident to her lawyer], it would not have been absent from the letter. [The absence] would affect the amount of claim. The letter has shaken the testimony she earlier made in relation to the indecent assault charge."

Ho, who is on bail, has pleaded guilty to one count of wounding but not guilty to one count of indecent assault of the teacher.

He admitted punching the teacher, tugging her hair and putting keys into her mouth, causing her to bleed.

Deputy Magistrate Hui Chun-sing adjourned the hearing to March 1 to let defence counsel cross-examine the teacher about the letter.