Fitness manager denies beating up girlfriend then threatening her with nude photo and bankruptcy

His sister also allegedly made the woman sign a declaration that her injuries were from a fall

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 9:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 5:21pm

A fitness chain manager allegedly slapped his girlfriend more than 50 times and threatened to expose her nude photo if she called the police, the District Court heard Wednesday.

Fitness manager and coach Cheng Ka-wai, 38 – who was his girlfriend’s superior at work – ­denied to have committed between 2011 and 2014, three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, four of criminal intimidation, and one of false imprisonment.

Testifying against Cheng, the woman recalled being strangled by him despite begging him to stop. She said Cheng continued to punch and kick her even after she was curled up on the ground. The violence occurred at their Cheung Sha Wan flat on April 5, 2014, the court heard.

The woman was a personal trainer who worked at the ­Whampoa and Wan Chai branches of a fitness chain in the city at the time. The name of the chain was not mentioned in court to protect her identity.

Led by prosecutor Edward Laskey, she testified that she had moved in with Cheng in 2007, and was first assaulted in March 2011. Hours after being allegedly slapped and pushed on the floor, she received a nude photo Cheng took of her, threatening he will post the picture online and ruin her career if she called the police.

She alleged she was beaten again in August 2013, this time ­repeatedly punched on the head and face, causing swelling and bruises to her nose and lips.

On April 5, 2014, she claimed more severe violence resumed over a row about Cheng’s affair. She asked to leave the house, and he refused to let her go, but she managed to flee to a friend’s home by the next morning. Cheng’s sister had followed her to the place and made her sign a document to declare she “fell and inflicted the injuries upon herself”, she said.

The alleged victim also claimed she owed Cheng HK$500,000, and he threatened to bankrupt her with lawsuits if she went to the police.

The trial continues Thursday.