A 16-year-old girl who, together with six others, brutalised and sexually abused a mentally retarded man was yesterday ordered to pay a HK$23,000 fine or serve nine months in jail.
When her lawyer asked how much time the girl would have to raise the money, the judge recommended she not pay the fines because, after deducting the time she had already spent in custody, she would not have to go to jail.
'I suggest that you don't pay the money and save it for taking some courses,' Judge Eddie Yip Chor-man said.
Yip said he imposed the fine because it was an exceptional case and because the defendant had been remanded in custody since October last year.
The teenager admitted her role in detaining the 24-year-old man for six days, forcing him to eat cat and hamster food and to perform oral sex on another man. She later asked the victim not to give evidence in court.
The girl, educated to Form One level, earlier pleaded guilty in the District Court to common assault and perverting the course of justice. Yip ordered the girl to pay a HK$3,000 fine or be jailed for one month for the common assault charge. He ordered her to pay HK$20,000 or be jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice. He left it to her to choose which she would prefer.
Yip agreed with a probation officer's recommendation that she be sent to a rehabilitation centre, as she was found unsuitable for community service because she lacked discipline and self-control.
The court heard earlier that the victim was introduced to a gang leader, Ko Wai-man, 29, and was asked in August last year to join the 14K triad society. Later, the victim wanted to back out. He was detained by the teenager, Ko and five others in a Yuen Long flat, where he was abused and humiliated.
He was forced to eat rice mixed with bones, made to sleep in the toilet, burned with cigarette butts and tied to a makeshift cross. He was also forced to perform oral sex on another man. He escaped when a person who was assigned to watch him fell asleep.
Ko was jailed for three-and-a-half years. The remaining defendants, aged 16 to 20, were sent to rehabilitation, training or detention centres.