Woman gets probation for threatening to 'chop off' colleague's breasts
A former teaching assistant at the Chinese University’s law school who sent more than 50 threatening phone messages to her ex-colleague over a period of six months was given a 12-month probation order at the Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Magistrate Merinda Chow Yin-chu gave the order on the condition that the teaching assistant, Helen Yu, receives psychological and psychiatric treatment over the probation period.
The court heard earlier that Yu sent more than 50 phone messages to co-worker associate professor Anne Scully-Hill between August 2012 and January of this year over unsatisfactory work arrangements. In one of the messages, the 35-year-old teaching assistant threatened to “chop off” Scully-Hill’s breasts and feed it to her starving dog, which would find them “very delicious”.
One message reads “I haven’t fed my dogs for three days, chop off your boobies” while another says “I will starve my dog for you”.
Yu was found guilty of one count of criminal intimidation.
Yu’s lawyer Kenneth Chan said on Thursday that his client felt remorse for what she had done. The lawyer also said that Yu sent the offending messages while under the influence of her mental illness and had already gained some insight into it. Yu had been living on her own, but would move in with her parents so they could look after her, he said.
The judge said that Yu has a clear record and a supportive family, so she hoped that Yu would face up to her mental problems.
“I understand that your mother is emotional because she cares about you. Your cousin is also here every time ... this demonstrates that they support you, so you have to address to your problems,” the judge said. Yu’s mother, who was too emotional to hear the sentencing, waited outside the courtroom.
“I hope you will become a healthy person again,” the judge said
The court will hear a probation progress report on Yu on 23 January. The judge warned Yu that if she failed in the report, she will be re-sentenced.
The court heard earlier that the 50 messages were sparked by Yu’s dissatisfaction with Scully-Hill’s allocation of teaching hours last September.
Yu told the court earlier that the working hours at the Chinese University were “simply too harsh” and that there was “too much work for too little pay”. She said that she hadn’t had a pay rise in the five years she worked at the university.