There were no ominous signs when Ngan Suk-wai left her Pok Fu Lam home for work on February 24 last year. She did her usual morning routine before heading out. As she departed, she recalled specifically her recently employed Indonesian domestic helper close the door for her. Ngan, a self-described ordinary mother, had no idea what’s about to come – that her domestic helper would accuse her of cutting her finger hours later. She could also have scarcely imagined she would get caught up in a costly legal battle and became part of series of domestic helper abuse cases that have recently chilled the city. “What an unexpected turn my life [took]”, Ngan, 40, told the South China Morning Post , after she was acquitted of wounding with intent Anis Andriyani, 26, her Indonesian domestic helper of less than a week. “I told my friends, to put it bluntly, it was like a ‘terrorist attack’ for me,” she gasped. Ngan was found not guilty two weeks ago by District Court Judge Gary Lam Kar-yan after he ruled that Anis’ circular cut on her left ring finger, allegedly reflected by Ngan, did not match the domestic helper’s evidence in court. But since Ngan’s arrest came a month after Erwiana Sulistyaningsih’s case took the world and social media by storm, this put her case under the media spotlight despite her later acquittal. Law Wan-tung, convicted of assaulting Erwiana, will hear her sentence on Friday at the District Court. Asked if she was ever worried if the media would treat her unfairly, Ngan said: “I did not read a single piece of those articles till the end of my trial.” She said she had enough to stress about at the time, so fretting about it would only make things worse. But she was grateful her friends had stayed loyal throughout her tough time and she received at least 100 letters from friends that wanted to show support. At the dental clinic where she works as a manager in Central, her colleagues and boss would avoid bringing up subjects such as Erwiana’s trial to keep her from worrying. After she was cleared on February 12, she told a crowd of reporters outside court that not every Hong Kong employer was abusive. Her message – aired on several television channels – was clear: both employers and domestic helpers should respect each other. However, that doesn’t mean she has forgotten what a bumpy ride it was to prove herself innocent. First, her family, who she insists are the most ordinary of the ordinary, had to bear hefty legal costs which run into six figures. Then, she she was locked up by police for 48 hours while she was questioned – something she was not prepared for. Ngan claimed officers swore at her and threatened to lengthen her detention after she was instructed by her lawyer to remain silent while she was being held at at Aberdeen, Wan Chai and Western District police stations during the two days. “Whether you can prove [someone guilty] or not, this person is still a citizen, even though my allegations remain unproven at that stage. So why can’t they use a more normal attitude to treat others?” she demanded. Shivers, diarrhoea, and difficulty in breathing were some of the symptoms she suffered in the week following her arrest. “I just want to send out a message. The reason I am not filing a formal complaint is that I want [the officers allegedly involved] to reflect on themselves,” she said. “I just want to prevent them from [doing it to others].” So is she still going to hire a domestic helper? Ngan said she had had domestic helpers before but she was forced to fire some of them because they borrowed money from loan sharks who then came to her door. Despite that, she reminisced about the good time she spent with others who loved cooking and would discuss recipes with her. Both Ngan and her husband work full time, while her daughter attends school. The family has two dogs to look after, one of which was said to be involved in the domestic helper’s allegations against Ngan; Anis claimed Ngan assaulted her because she allegedly scared Ngan’s corgi, Coffee. But she will not hire another helper, she said, after everything she had been through. “A burnt child dreads fire,” she said, adding that the family now divides all the household chores among themselves. “You don’t have to clean every day,” she joked.