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Hong Kong courts

Mother on trial for neglect that nearly killed daughter ‘unsure whether she had extramarital sex before child was born’, Hong Kong court hears

Counsel for defendant’s ex-husband Rocky Ling asks whether Mandy Wong was sure his client was the biological father of her seven-year-old daughter Suki Ling, who almost died from neglect.

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 May, 2018, 6:31am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 May, 2018, 10:55am

A woman whose seven-year-old daughter almost died from neglect was asked by her ex-husband’s counsel if she knew who the child’s biological father was at her trial on Wednesday.

The query emerged after Mandy Wong Wing-man, 42, who is on trial for the alleged neglect, admitted on her third day of testimony that she could not recall if she had extramarital sex before Suki Ling Yun-lam was born in her marriage with then husband Rocky Ling Yiu-chung, 52.

Ling is accused of misleading investigations into his daughter’s neglect.

Father promised ‘devoted care’ for neglected daughter, mother tells trial

“I have no recollection,” Wong said between long pauses. “I don’t know and I cannot recall.”

“You do know what telling the truth means,” Ling’s counsel James McGowan said as he watched Wong shift in her chair. “Do you still assert [my client] is that natural father of Suki?”

Wong replied: “After I married Ling Yiu-chung. I gave birth to Yun-lam and a son.”

“That would make you a natural mother,” McGowan pressed on. “Is [my client] Suki’s natural father?”

“Ling Yiu-chung said Ling Yun-lam was his natural daughter,” she replied.

It was not until Mr Justice Kevin Zervos joined in the interrogation did Wong testify: “After I married Ling Yiu-chung, I gave birth to Ling Yun-lam, and Ling Yiu-chung was her father, her natural father.”

The High Court heard Wong and Ling divorced in April 2016, after 10 years of marriage.

Police arrested the couple after Suki was admitted to hospital in a state of cardiac arrest on July 18, 2015. 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 Ling during investigations. The two have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In defence, Wong told the jury that she was a good mother to her twins from her first marriage and Suki’s younger brother; while Ling cared for Suki.

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

When it was suggested that she “wasn’t a good mother to Suki”, Wong touched the back of her neck and replied: “Incorrect. I seldom had contact with her, I seldom saw her. She did not really like me.

“I seldom saw her,” she repeated. “May I have a break? I have a bit of stomach ache.”

Their quick-paced exchange was punctuated by Wong telling McGowan to “put himself in her shoes” and “ask direct questions”.

Defending her credibility, Wong said she regarded herself as “an honest person” and denied making up Ling’s history of domestic violence.

She took the initiative to reveal that she had served one year in prison for entering Hong Kong illegally, and explained she had wanted to find a job in the city to support her family because her father fell ill. “When I was out of prison, I couldn’t see my father, he was dead,” she said between wails.

But McGowan further revealed that she had not only sneaked into the city, but used a forged identity card, a crime which Wong said she could not recall.

Brain-damaged girl ‘quite smart’ before hospital admission, teacher tells neglect trial

More recently, Wong was fined by a lower court in April 2014 for shoplifting drinks and sweets, which she said she committed because Ling had stolen HK$7,000 from her and left her with no money to feed her children.

When McGowan tried to confirm whether his client’s alleged theft had taken place in April, Wong replied: “Please check it carefully, counsel.”

Her testimony continues on Thursday.