The managing director of a leading investment bank was acquitted yesterday of assaulting his 14-month-old daughter after a magistrate accepted he was a loving father. Liu Hao-cheng, 38, had pleaded not guilty before Joseph To Ho-shing in Eastern Court to assaulting his daughter, Samantha, in a car park last year. Delivering the verdict, Mr To said evidence of the alleged assault by Mr Liu's ex-wife, Tiffany Cheng, and a domestic helper was inconsistent and unreliable. Ms Cheng told the court earlier that Mr Liu had lost his temper when Samantha kept crying loudly in the car as they were going shopping for furniture last August. She said she had got out of the car with the girl while Mr Liu went to find a parking space, when Mr Liu suddenly rushed up behind and hit the girl on one side of her head with his fist, causing redness and swelling. She also accused Mr Liu of assaulting their daughter on several previous occasions. However, in cross-examination by Alexander King, SC, she admitted the family had continued window-shopping for some time after the incident. She had not asked Mr Liu the reason for the assault, nor did she tell the police about it at the time. Mr Liu's maid, Tri Yatmi, said Mr Liu had slapped Samantha's face with his hand, causing redness. Giving evidence after the magistrate ruled he had a case to answer, Mr Liu described the father-daughter relationship as 'perfect'. In support of this contention, a videotape and pictures were submitted showing daily interaction between the pair. Mr To said they showed Samantha's attitude to Mr Liu was natural and positive and she was happy. He accepted Mr Liu's testimony that he was a loving father and acquitted him.