Hong Kong police sergeant convicted of assault for pinching female constable’s ear and cheek

Judge rejects Choy Tak-cheung’s defence that he and subordinate practised Wing Chun together and act was gesture of ‘encouragement’

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 April, 2017, 9:13am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 April, 2017, 9:50am

A police station sergeant is set to lose his job and HK$2 million pension after being found guilty on Thursday of pinching his female colleague’s cheek and ear at work – an act he claimed was a gesture of “encouragement”.

Choy Tak-cheung, who was stationed at Hung Hom at the time of the offence, was convicted of three counts of common assault at Kowloon City Court after his “Wing Chun defence” failed to convince the court. One of the charges also said Choy pushed the female constable’s arm so that it hit her bottom.

The incidents took place on May 26 and June 2 in the report room at the Hung Hom MTR Station when Choy and his subordinate X – how the constable was referred to in court – were on duty.

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Despite pleading not guilty, the 53-year-old father of three never contested during the trial that he had made those moves.

Instead, he argued that they were a form of encouragement, which he believed X had consented to because they had practiced the martial art of Wing Chun together. X testified that they had merely discussed it without bodily contact.

Choy also claimed X had never had an issue with him telling dirty jokes around colleagues. Nor had she complained about him touching her shoulders when they talked about work-related matters.

But on Thursday, deputy magistrate Eric Yao Kwok-sun rejected Choy’s defence.

“Even if she practised Wing Chun with you, it still does not mean X would not mind [those] acts,” he said.

He added that Choy’s defence “defied logic”, saying that he failed to see how pinching somebody could be an act of encouragement.

Choy also pleaded not guilty of one count of indecent assault for allegedly touching either X’s waist or bottom, which he claimed was to correct her sitting posture. X would have told him to stop if she was reluctant, he testified earlier when asked why he did not advise her verbally instead.

Yao had to acquit him of that charge as X failed to specify where she was touched, but not without some sharp words for Choy.

“What difference would it make if you already touched her?” the judge said.

In mitigation, Choy’s counsel Lawrence Hui pleaded for a fine, saying that the defendant had learned his lesson from losing his job, reputation and HK$2 million pension.

Yao adjourned the case to April 29 for sentencing, as he sought reports to study Yao’s background and the possibility of a probational order in the meantime.