Hong Kong father gets probation for beating friend’s daughter, locking her in toilet and feeding her dog food

Magistrate adopts probation officer’s recommendation as she accepts it was a one-off event for a generally good-tempered man

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 November, 2016, 8:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 November, 2016, 8:01am

A father of three who beat his friend’s seven-year-old daughter before he made her stay in a toilet with two dogs, fed her dog food and held her upside down has been placed on probation for 12 months.

Tam Kai-wun, 27, had pleaded guilty in Tuen Mun Court to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and another of ill treatment or neglect by those in charge of a young person.

The court previously heard that Tam got emotional in April because the girl was said to have hurt his son, so he picked up a rattan stick and a vacuum cleaner tube to hit her.

On another day, he punished her by making her finish her homework with two dogs in the toilet and fed her dog food, which she refused. The court also heard that he held the girl upside down, which left her feeling great discomfort.

The case was reported to police by a social worker. Subsequent medical checks at Tuen Mun Hospital found she had bruises on both arms and her left thigh, which was also swollen.

Defence lawyer Nick Wong said in mitigation on Thursday that the offence was unusual as people all knew the chef as a kind and responsible father.

Citing the girl’s impact assessment, Wong also noted that the incident had limited impact on her as she had basically forgotten the incident.

Acting principal magistrate Merinda Chow Yin-chu pointed out that it was not right to use any verbal or actual violence in the care of a young child, especially one who was seven.

But she adopted the probation officer’s recommendation as she accepted it was a one-off event for a generally good-tempered man who did not know how to handle his emotions at the time.

“The court also took into consideration that you have been remanded for some time since October 6 over this case,” the magistrate said

She placed him on probation with the condition that he attends compulsory psychological therapy plus a social support rehabilitation programme.