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Hong Kong courts

Hong Kong tutor found guilty of kicking, punching and spraying student, 10, with detergent

Chau Kin-ying, 32, presented herself as a ‘responsible teacher’ but magistrate is unconvinced

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 2:26pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 11:18pm

A Hong Kong private tutor was on Tuesday found guilty of assaulting and spraying her 10-year-old student with detergent when he did not finish his homework and scored poorly in a school test.

West Kowloon Court heard the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered a string of 12 attacks from Chau Kin-ying, 32, that included punching, kicking and pinching. The tutor was accused of kneeing the student in the back and pushing his head against the table up to six times.

Magistrate Matthew Leung Man-liang said: “The present case is a serious one involving a 10-year-old victim.”

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But Chau’s lawyer said the incident on May 2 last year was an isolated case in her four years of service at the tutorial school in Cheung Sha Wan. He said her employer was still willing to hire her, given she was a “responsible teacher”.

Chau did not visibly react when she was convicted after trial on one count of ill-treatment by those in charge of a child or young person, an offence punishable by three years’ imprisonment.

Sentencing was adjourned to October 4, pending Chau’s background report.

The court previously heard the attacks were triggered by a phone call from the boy’s father, who revealed his son did not complete homework and had scored poorly in a dictation test at school.

The boy testified that Chau then hit his forearms with a plastic binder and his head with a thick book, punched his left cheek, and pinched his left ear lobe.

The court is certain the injuries were caused by Chau’s assault
Magistrate Matthew Leung

He said Chau told him three times: “You did not submit your homework.”

He also accused her of pushing his head onto the table, before spraying detergent in his face, wiping his head with dirty towels and kicking him to the floor, then kneeing his back.

“I’m crazy, do you know that?” the boy quoted Chau as saying. He said he replied: “I know.”

The boy said the attacks lasted two hours.

His classmate further testified to seeing Chau push him against a door.

By the time the boy’s father picked him up from school, his left cheek and ear were both swollen, and he had multiple wounds on his arms.

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The boy’s mother further reported seeing a footprint on his chest.

But the boy did not immediately reveal his assailant’s identity because he said Chau told him not to.

On Tuesday, the magistrate concluded the boy, his classmate and his parents were all honest and reliable witnesses, unlike Chau, who tried to present herself as a responsible tutor.

“The court is certain the injuries were caused by Chau’s assault,” Leung said.