Maid 'hit with mop, ruler and hanger' court hears as employer faces seven charges

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 3:23am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 11:52am

Indonesian maid Erwiana Sulistyaningsih's former employer hit her with a mop, vacuum cleaner tube, hanger and ruler, apparently because of her poor job performance, a court heard yesterday.

Law Wan-tung, 44, also pushed Erwiana's head against a wall, and threatened to kill her parents if she did not obey orders, the prosecution said.

Prosecutor Catherine Ko Po-chui read out the case details in Kwun Tong Court as requested by Principal Magistrate Ernest Lin Kam-hung.

The housewife, represented by barrister Patrick Wong Heung-yung, is charged with one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one of common assault, and four counts of criminal intimidation against three domestic helpers.

The alleged victims are all Indonesians. No plea was entered.

Ko said Erwiana suffered multiple injuries, such as broken teeth and upper jaw, nose fractures and brain swelling, after the two offences involving Erwiana allegedly took place at Law's Tseung Kwan O home from July 5, 2013 to January 9 this year.

Three other charges allege that Law assaulted and injured a second maid, Tutik Lestari Ningish, as well as threatening to injure Ningsih and her family between April 19, 2010, and March 30, 2011. The alleged offences took place at Law's former home in Mong Kok.

The remaining two charges allege that Law assaulted a third helper, Nurhasanah, and threatened to injure her and her family at the Mong Kok flat in December 2011.

The magistrate released Law on HK$500,000 cash bail and HK$500,000 surety. Law must not leave the city or interfere with prosecution witnesses and must report to Tseung Kwan O police station every day.

Lin said that it was possible the case would be transferred to a higher court because of the seriousness of the charges.

Law will appear in court on March 25 for mention.

After the court appearance, Law's lawyers were seen carrying a bag of HK$1,000 banknotes to post her bail. Law left the court building wearing a mask and a black down jacket while dozens of journalists jostled each other to catch a glimpse of the woman, whose case has made headlines around the world.

Law and her husband remained tight-lipped as they left in a silver, private car tailed by several press vehicles.

Law was intercepted at an Immigration Department checkpoint at the airport on Monday afternoon while trying to leave for Thailand. A team led by Chief Inspector Chung Chi-ming is in Indonesia investigating the case.

A senior forensics pathologist and a police photographer will fly to Indonesia today.