No jail time for mother who attacked teacher

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 November, 2013, 4:33pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 November, 2013, 4:06am

A mainland mother waiting for the right to settle in Hong Kong was handed a suspended jail sentence yesterday for assaulting and threatening to kill a teacher at her son's kindergarten.

Xiang Yanhua, 33, committed the acts after the teacher called her son "a bit stupid", and suggested he go to a special school, Kwun Tong Court heard.

Principal Magistrate Ernest Lin Kam-hung suspended a two-month jail term for two years on charges of criminal intimidation and assault, to which Xiang pleaded guilty last month.

The court heard that she was in Hong Kong on a two-way permit to take care of her 80-year-old Hong Kong husband and five-year-old son, and was seeking a one-way permit.

On October 28, Xiang stormed into a Kwun Tong kindergarten in the afternoon and shouted "I'm going to kill you, stab you" at her son's class supervisor, the court heard. She also tried to punch the teacher but missed.

The teacher had allegedly told her earlier that her son "has problems in IQ" and suggested that he transfer to a special school.

Xiang's lawyer said she wanted her son in whole-day sessions, but the school assigned him to afternoon sessions because neither she nor her husband were working and full-day places were reserved for those really in need. The kindergarten said Xiang had been frequenting the school to complain since September.

"She is really regretful," the lawyer said, disagreeing with an investigation report which said she showed no sign of remorse. "She is willing to apologise."

According to the lawyer, the teacher said "your son is a bit stupid" to Xiang, which further fuelled her anger. "It was an act of impulse driven by her sincere love for her son," he said.

Lin was unimpressed, however. "The love had made her unable to listen to any criticism of her child," the magistrate said.

During the first hearing last month, the lawyer tried to use cultural differences to explain Xiang's act, but took it back after Lin disapproved.

"Is mainland culture like that?" asked Lin, warning the lawyer that he might be at risk of defamation.