Care worker convicted of sticking tape to residents

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 November, 2016, 1:36am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 November, 2016, 2:15am

A rehabilitation centre worker was convicted of common assault yesterday for taking photos and sticking adhesive tape to the body of mentally disabled residents.

Three other defendants were acquitted at Sha Tin Magistrates Court due to insufficient evidence.

Chan Ma-lee, 29, stuck tape on the forehead, arms, and toes of one inmate under her care on January 5 this year. She earlier also admitted sticking tape in a cross-shape on the nipples of another inmate.

All four defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were exposed by “a group of sympathisers from the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council”.

Magistrate Ivy Chui Yee-mei described Chan’s behaviour as “totally abusive” and said her explanation had been “against logic and common sense”.

Chan’s lawyer had argued that the act of sticking adhesive tape to a resident who suffered from autism and marble bone disease, was a “target shifting” approach to use up his energy so he can go to sleep quickly.

The magistrate said the resident’s reaction of screaming “no” and trying to avoid being taped showed he had not given consent to Chan to treat him this way.

“Your duty was to take care of those who are incapable of taking care of themselves. You need to be patient in handling them and pay respect to them. It is totally unacceptable to cause them any unnecessary pain by making use of his weakness,” the magistrate said when convicting Chan.

The magistrate said there was insufficient evidence to convict the other defendants, Tam Cheuk-yu, 24, who also faced a charge of common assault, and Seto Man-yuk, 25, and Philips Ng Kin-ho, 28 who faced charges related to taking photos of a resident.