Mainland woman jailed for assaulting Hong Kong mother and daughter
Pregnant housewife’s bail application rejected after she is found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on 55-year-old grandmother
A mainland housewife has been jailed for five months and one week for assaulting a local grandmother at the Sha Tin MTR station, in what has been a high-profile case underscoring Hongkongers’ ongoing conflict with mainlanders.
The Sha Tin Court on Monday convicted Huang Yufeng, 28, of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Lam Yuet-fan, 55, outside the Maxim’s cake shop on May 9.
Lam suffered from temporary loss of speech and unstable emotions and had difficulty walking as a result of the attack.
Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma Hon-cheung also found the mainlander guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Lam’s daughter Bryony Lau Kwan-mei, 28, in the same incident.
Lau was left with cuts on her face and upper arm.
The defendant fought back tears as she heard the hour-long verdict. Her lawyer begged for leniency, saying that the defendant was four months pregnant and would like to give birth back home rather than in Hong Kong. She applied for bail pending appeal, but was rejected.
The court ruled that Huang rushed towards the pair, causing Lam to fall backwards and hit the back of her head. The fall resulted in intense pain and a lump which Lam said was “as big as a pineapple bun”. Huang then went on to pull Lau’s hair and assault her.
Coming to her own defence in an earlier session, Huang, a Guangdong native, said she rushed towards the two in an effort to snatch Lau’s phone. Huang said the daughter had tailed and filmed her family after two earlier confrontations and threatened to upload the video to the internet.
Huang denied causing Lam’s injuries, saying it was Lau who knocked her own mother down.
But the magistrate refused to accept her claims, and said video footage of the incident did not corroborate her account.
Ma said footage showed Huang had no intention of slowing down when she approached the pair, and that Lam had fallen immediately after the accused rushed at them with both arms stretched out.
“The most probable scenario is that out of anger, [the defendant] slightly lost control and used full speed to charge, in a bid [for revenge] as well as to stop the filming,” he said.
There was also no need for Huang to launch the subsequent assault on Lau, Ma added, as the defendant’s daughter was protected by her husband at the time.
But the magistrate also criticised Lau’s filming as “unwise” and “unnecessary”.
Ma called the attack serious and said it had left an “unerasable impression” on Lam, before convicting Huang.
During sentencing, Ma noted that Lam now walks with a crutch and suffers from speech problems, anxiety and a string of psychological symptoms that she had not recovered from.
The case highlighted the ongoing conflict between Hongkongers and mainlanders, with the court hearing previously that Huang, moments before the assault that stemmed from a dispute over her child and Lam’s grandson, had asked the local pair why Hongkongers thought they were so superior.
The incident was widely circulated on the internet in May when Lam’s other daughter made a post on Facebook in search of witnesses.
Huang faced abuse from people both inside and outside the courtroom, and on the internet during the trial.
But the magistrate said the case should not be viewed as an incident that escalated from any Hong Kong-mainland conflict. He warned the public that all defendants, be they locals, mainlanders or foreign nationals, should be treated equally, and urged the police to take action against acts that could amount to criminal intimidation.
In mitigation, Huang’s lawyer insisted the case arose from her worry for her family.