A veteran magistrate was left at a loss over how to punish an 88-year-old woman who attacked her 86-year-old roommate with scissors during an argument over their shared toilet.
“I don’t know how I should sentence you,” Principal Magistrate Ernest Lin Kam-hung told Ng Hai-chen, after she admitted assault and wounding.
“I don’t know either,” replied white-haired Ng, who appeared in Kwun Tong Court with a walking frame and a hearing aid.
Lin called a short adjournment before sentencing Ng to nine days in jail.
“Haven’t you reined in your temper yet, granny?” the magistrate asked her.
The court heard that Ng had twice attacked Szeto Fong – once with scissors – at the Salvation Army’s Nam Shan Residence for Senior Citizens in Sham Shui Po.
On the afternoon of June 21, the court heard, Ng pushed Szeto and hit her on the back with her bare hands, pulling her ears and grabbed her hair. Szeto managed to escape Ng’s clutches and informed staff.
Szeto was checked by staff at the Caritas Medical Centre who discovered abrasions on her ears and her grandson reported the attack to the police. Ng told police she had injured Szeto by accident and “didn’t mean it”.
Following the incident the two women were put in separate rooms, but at 7am on July 1 Ng went back to the room to collect some belongings and the pair got into an argument over the use of the toilet.
Ng then attacked Szeto with a pair of scissors but was subdued by a 75-year-old woman.
Both Ng and Szeto were sent to the medical centre, where the victim had two stitches to her elbow.
Ng’s lawyer told the court in mitigation that his client had attacked her former roommate because she had obstructed her from using the toilet. The court heard she had since moved from the home and was unlikely to reoffend.
Magistrate Lin told Ng that she should consider that her actions may embarrass her sons, to which she replied: “I’m always alone.”
After sentencing Ng remained silent and calmly walked from court, led by a police officer.