Detention for pupil who beat teacher

The youth pulled teacher's hair and stuck keys into her mouth during violent outburst

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 April, 2013, 4:18am

An 18-year-old pupil was yesterday sent to a detention centre for attacking and molesting a teacher at school.

Ho Man-tai had earlier been found guilty of one charge of wounding and one count of indecent assault of his former teacher by pulling her hair and forcing a set of keys into her mouth, causing her to bleed. He also touched her breast during the violent outburst in a room at a Tin Shui Wai school on November 30.

Deputy Magistrate Hui Chun-sing yesterday sent Ho to the detention centre although defence counsel said Ho preferred to be in a rehabilitation centre because he could continue his studies there.

The period that a young offender spends at a detention centre depends on his health and conduct.

Counsel Chan Pak-kong told the Tuen Mun magistrate yesterday that Ho had consulted psychiatrists at Tuen Mun Hospital in January for an anxiety disorder.

He said Ho and his parents were not aware that the teenager was suffering from the disorder at the time of the attack.

The court heard that Ho had been besieged by many problems relating to his family, friends and studies at the time. His academic results were also deteriorating before the exams.

The teenager, whose parents were present at every court hearing, also submitted three mitigation letters to the court.

When Chan read the letters - which were written by Ho, his physics teacher and a district councillor - the schoolboy sobbed in the dock.

Ho had been remanded in jail for 14 days before yesterday's ruling and had missed the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examination that started on March 27.

Chan said Ho's parents and friends were shocked by the attack as it was not his normal behaviour.

The court earlier heard that Ho had been wandering around the school when the teacher asked why he had been absent from school for several days.

Ho testified that the bombardment of questions about his problems had triggered something in him and compelled him to assault the teacher.