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Hong Kong courts

Father of Hong Kong seven-year-old girl who nearly died through neglect blames himself for being a bad dad

Rocky Ling is on trial for perverting the course of justice during investigation into his daughter’s condition

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 May, 2018, 8:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2018, 10:49am

A man whose seven-year-old daughter nearly died through neglect blames himself for being a bad father, he told the High Court on Monday.

“I felt sorry for [my wife and children],” said Rocky Ling Yiu-chung, who has been charged with perverting the course of justice.

“I was not a good father and a good husband. If it was not the case that I could not take care of them, such an incident would not have happened.”

On the second day of his testimony, the court heard that this guilt, coupled with death threats purportedly made by his then wife Mandy Wong Wing-man, 42, left Ling, 52, “no alternative” but to lie to officers investigating how Suki Ling Yun-lam ended up in hospital on July 18, 2015.

As a result, Ling agreed to Wong’s instructions on August 12, 2015 to tell police in subsequent interviews that he alone raised their daughter, and she had been born prematurely with intellectual and developmental defects, which left her ill and bedridden.

He later told police Suki was born prematurely, weighing just 2lbs at birth, which he knew was not true.

“[Wong] said that it was like this, I did not have any information at all,” he said.

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In previous testimony Ling told the court that he was not present at Suki’s birth, and that he had never lived with Suki.

Asked by his defence counsel James McGowan on Monday whether he wanted to lie to police, Ling replied, “no”.

I don’t know how to take care of children
Rocky Ling Yiu-chung, co-defendant

McGowan continued: “Why did you agree to do so?”

Ling said: “I worried about my children, as well as my family members.”

The father of four said he was initially worried about who would take care of the children if Wong had been arrested. The court heard he had a heart attack in 2012, and had been unable to work since because of medication he was taking.

“I don’t know how to take care of children,” he said.

Later, Ling described Wong telling him that, “she would take the children away … to die … with her”.

He said: “Yun-lam was already lying in hospital. I really did not want to see them all lying in hospital.”

Ling also recalled how Wong brought up his mother’s old age, and reminded him that she knew where his elder sister lived.

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That, he said, made him think of how Wong used to scold his mother in a “very fierce” manner when they were still living together.

Ling has pleaded not guilty to one count of perverting the course of justice, jointly charged with Wong, who has denied neglecting Suki.

His testimony will continue on Tuesday before Mr Justice Kevin Zervos.