Hong Kong housewife accused of causing baby’s death after losing self-control over infant’s incessant crying

Court hears three-month-old boy died of head trauma after mother shook him violently and tossed him onto bed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 10:01am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 10:01am

A newborn baby died of head trauma after his mother allegedly lost self-control and shook him violently because of his crying bouts, the High Court heard on Tuesday.

Leung Siu-fong, who pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, told police that her three-month-old son was “very noisy”.

“I didn’t like him,” the mother said in her statement taken shortly after the baby’s death.

The 31-year-old housewife was accused of unlawfully killing her son Matthew Lee Man-hin at her home in Cheung Chau.

On the afternoon of August 25, 2015, Leung made a 999 emergency call about two hours after her child lapsed into breathlessness, according to police reports. When an operator asked her what had happened, she said: “I don’t know why my child’s heart has stopped beating.”

The baby was certified dead at about 7pm on the same day after being taken to St John Hospital on the island.

Leung first told police that the baby suffered convulsions, turned pale and stopped breathing.

But when the mother was questioned further, according to the prosecution, she said that the baby was crying when she grabbed, shook and tossed him onto the bed, then slapped the child and pinched his cheeks.

She told police under caution that she lost self-control and harmed her child after he cried repeatedly.

An autopsy found that the boy died from “abusive head trauma” – the infant suffered bleeding on the inside of his skull between the skull and the brain.

The government pathologist added that the baby might have already sustained head injuries at least one to two weeks before the date of death.

The prosecution argued that the housewife caused her child’s death through her violent behaviour.

Leung, who was not living with her husband at the time, said Matthew was her first child. The boy was under the care of his mother and aunt at their Cheung Chau flat.

The hearing continues on Wednesday before Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping.