A Filipino domestic worker has been sentenced to four months in jail after a Hong Kong court convicted her of assaulting the bedridden man she was hired to help. An Eastern Court magistrate ruled on Thursday that Ivy Bongalonta Rebustillo, 39, had struck the 60-year-old victim with a plastic stool and pulled his penis. Rebustillo had been employed to feed and clean the man after he was paralysed and left unable to speak by a stroke. “It is really heart-wrenching to see the victim, who had no voice, subject to such acts by the defendant,” deputy magistrate Selma Masood said. In her verdict, Masood said that no right-minded person would find Rebustillo’s actions acceptable. Domestic helper jailed for six months after bathing baby in bleach Rebustillo was charged with one count of common assault and one of indecent assault after the man’s wife saw him pointing at the security camera installed in their North Point flat and she watched the footage. Rebustillo was convicted of common assault. The security video taken on June 30 showed Rebustillo tapping the man’s left thigh with her hand, and later lightly hitting his right hand with a pink plastic stool. Rebustillo also removed the man’s diapers and pulled on his penis for about three seconds. She was later shown shoving his right hand close to his mouth. A medical examination found that the man had a 1cm red mark on his penis. Tiredness, frustration, exhaustion – this is not an excuse to commit such acts, and it is wrong to vent on him. It is not his fault that he is in the state he is in Selma Masood, deputy magistrate of Eastern Court Rebustillo argued during the trial that her acts did not constitute harassment or assault because she had no intention of hurting the man. The Filipino helper said she had tapped the man with a stool to remind him not to touch his faeces. She admitted that she could have just tapped his hand, but said she had used the stool so he would remember. On Thursday, the magistrate cleared Rebustillo of indecent assault after acknowledging that the man had a tendency to play with his faeces and accepted that it was part of the job to clean the man’s private parts. But Masood ruled that the “overexaggerated” act of pulling the man’s penis amounted to assault and that the helper had given “incredible and unreasonable” explanations for the acts captured on camera. Domestic workers prop up Hong Kong’s economy, so why exclude them? Rebustillo’s defence counsel asked for a short, suspended jail term, arguing the acts committed were not the worst kind of common assault and that Rebustillo would have apologised to the victim had he not died last year. The magistrate ruled instead that a jail sentence was necessary because Rebustillo had breached her employer’s trust to commit acts that were “really not in human nature”. “Tiredness, frustration, exhaustion – this is not an excuse to commit such acts, and it is wrong to vent on him,” the magistrate said. “It is not his fault that he is in the state he is in.” Common assault is punishable by 12 months’ imprisonment.