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Hong Kong courts

Women punched, burned and attached metal clip to nose of 4-year-old girl who ‘lied to them’ during two-week ordeal

  • Footage played in court shows pair forcing girl, with metal clip on her nose, to say: ‘If I ever lie again, [I’ll be] chucked in a rubbish bin’
  • Two women plead guilty to joint count of wounding with intent
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2018, 2:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2018, 9:48pm

Two Hong Kong women on Wednesday pleaded guilty to torturing a four-year-old girl by punching her, burning her with a lighter and putting a large metal binder clip on her nose.

Chan Tin-yau, 36, and Fung Ka-po, 42, subjected the girl to an ordeal that lasted two weeks, claiming she had lied to them after being entrusted to their care by her mother last year.

The District Court, which was shown footage of some of the abuse, also heard Chan assaulted the girl in her genitals to punish her for not putting on her trousers.

The pair, a lesbian couple, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a joint count of wounding with intent for the assault that took place between November 18 and December 1 at their Mong Kok flat.

The girl, referred to as X in court to protect her identity, was taken to hospital in a semi-conscious state, covered in bruises and wounds.

She was suffering from septic shock, a potentially fatal condition, after undergoing brain surgery and had to be placed in intensive care.

Prosecutor Ivan Shiu Kwan-tai said X and her twin sister had been looked after by their mother since she finished serving a jail sentence.

But the mother would sometimes entrust her friends, including Chan, whom she met while in prison, with looking after the girls. Chan and Fung had taken care of the girls on numerous occasions in 2016 with no issues, Shiu said.

The kid was lying all the time and pushed over my stuff, which sent me into a rage. So I hit her and burned her with a lighter
Chan Tin-yau

Things changed in November 2017 when the pair refused to give X back despite the mother trying to contact them repeatedly.

On December 1, Chan finally returned the mother’s call to tell her X had lost consciousness after hurting her chin.

When the parents arrived at the flat, they found X barely conscious and covered in wounds.

They rushed her to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, where she was intubated for five days as she underwent a series of medical treatments.

After her arrest, Chan told police: “The kid was lying all the time and pushed over my stuff, which sent me into a rage. So I hit her and burned her with a lighter.”

She also admitted to punching her multiple times in the stomach and genitals.

Fung, the court heard, told police she had slapped the girl and punched her.

Video footage played in court showed the pair forcing the girl, with a binder clip on her nose, to say: “If I ever lie again, [I’ll be] chucked in a rubbish bin and thrown out on the street.”

Chan then hit the clip – so large it covered half the child’s face – several times when she failed to repeat the sentence.

Fung called the girl a “vindictive” being as the two swore at her while she fought back tears.

Deputy Judge Ho Chun-yiu adjourned sentencing to January 17 as the court awaited a report on study the impact on X.

X has mostly recovered and been discharged from hospital.