Hong Kong courts

Mother on trial for neglect that left seven-year-old daughter ‘corpse-like’ tells Hong Kong court father had taken responsibility for girl’s care

Mandy Wong tells court Rocky Ling assured her their seven-year-old daughter, Suki Ling, who was later diagnosed with irreversible brain damage, would be well looked after

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 6:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 6:30am

A woman on trial for neglecting her seven-year-old daughter to a state of near death told a Hong Kong court on Tuesday her husband had volunteered to care for their daughter because she was his “only descendant”.

Mandy Wong Wing-man, 42, also claimed Rocky Ling Yiu-chung, 52, had assured her their daughter Suki Ling Yun-lam would be under his “devoted” care – with help from his mother, sister and girlfriend – while she lived separately with their son and twin daughters from her previous marriage.

Wong, alias Wang Xuexin, recalled Suki was mentally bright and physically able, leaning against her father in what appeared to be a sign of their “really good relationship” when she visited the mainland Chinese-born child in May 2015, six months after she came to Hong Kong.

Mother on trial in Hong Kong for neglecting daughter, 7, tells court other three children were healthy and good students

So Wong was “completely at a loss” and “unable to accept” seeing an unresponsive Suki in Ling’s arms on July 18, 2015. That did not stop her from quickly following Ling’s instructions to bring Suki to hospital and lie to doctors.

Wong said her “first priority” was to save the child and she was “scared to death” of her husband, given his alleged history of domestic assault.

The High Court heard Wong carried Suki to Yan Chai Hospital in Tsuen Wan that night. The child was in a state of cardiac arrest – pale, without a pulse and breathless – upon admission. She was subsequently diagnosed with irreversible brain damage, profound intellectual disability, severe malnutrition, gangrenous wounds and significant wasting that left her capable of only breathing and moving her eyes.

Prosecutors alleged Wong neglected Suki from April 28 to July 18, 2015, and perverted the course of justice with her husband during police investigations. The two have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

On Tuesday, Wong explained on her second day of testimony that Suki was only brought to Hong Kong at Ling’s request.

“He said he missed Yun-lam very, very much,” she said of her husband. “Yun-lam was his only descendant in the family. That is the reason he wanted Yun-lam to come to Hong Kong to live with him.”

It was arranged that Suki would stay with Ling and his mother in their Tsing Yi flat, while Wong would raise the three other children – including Ling’s son – at her Tsuen Wan subdivided unit.

But Wong recalled that Ling would still ask her to help take Suki to and from her kindergarten because he was ashamed of doing it himself. Other times, he would arrange for his girlfriend and elder sister to help take care of her.

Later she learned Suki dropped out from kindergarten in April 2015 because she cried a lot and did not eat much or follow instructions.

Judge tells jury in Hong Kong girl’s neglect trial not to let emotion play a part in their decision

She heard further complaints from Ling two months later when he called to say Suki often had a fever and became bothersome, annoying and very tiring. The news prompted her to visit Suki with a gift, but Wong said Ling slapped her head and chest then kicked her – with a fierce look in his “red eyes” – and turned her away.

The next Wong heard about Suki was on July 18, when Ling asked for her because he said their daughter was “car sick”. But Wong said she was instructed to tell doctors Suki had developmental delays and fainted at home after eating congee.

“Thinking about the situation then, I am really sad,” she said.

Wong’s testimony continues on Wednesday in the jury trial before Mr Justice Kevin Zervos.