Hong Kong courts

Girls, 12 and 15, appear in Hong Kong court over Tin Shui Wai attack on victim, 14

Magistrate rejects bail for both defendants and turns down parents’ bid to remove media from courtroom, citing public interest

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 July, 2018, 2:07pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 July, 2018, 11:14pm

Two girls made their first court appearance in Hong Kong on Monday over an attack last week on a 14-year-old girl in Tin Shui Wai.

The defendants, aged 12 and 15, appeared before Magistrate Kelly Shui at Tuen Mun Court to face one count of wounding. Both had their bail applications rejected, with one of them bursting into tears after learning she would be taken into custody.

Prosecutors alleged that the pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, unlawfully and maliciously wounded the victim, identified only as “X”, at Tin Yan Estate on July 11.

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The 15-year-old girl kept her eyes trained on the floor as she walked into the juvenile courtroom and settled beside her mother.

On her other side was the 12-year-old co-defendant who cast nervous glances at reporters filling up the public gallery, before she joined her mother at the centre of the courtroom.

When asked if they understood the allegation, the girls replied in unison: “Understood.”

They were not required to take plea as prosecutors were granted permission to adjourn the case for further investigation, which included the victim’s medical condition.

The public is interested in this case for a reason
Magistrate Kelly Shui

During the brief hearing, defence counsel Sky Cheng Kee-tin sought to remove all reporters from the courtroom, citing concerns from his clients’ parents, who claimed they were harassed by media in the past few days.

But the bid was turned down by the magistrate, who said: “The public is interested in this case for a reason.”

The 12-year-old girl was sent to Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home, operated by the Social Welfare Department; while the other girl, having crossed the age of 14, was placed in jail custody with correctional services.

The case will return to the same court for mention on August 24.