Hong Kong courts

Abused girl, 5, hit ceiling after being hurled in air and was poked with scissors, Hong Kong court told in murder case

Prosecutors reveal horrific abuse inflicted on victim and older brother by parents

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018, 12:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2018, 1:18pm

The details of deadly abuse against a five-year-old girl – including her being thrown in the air and hitting the ceiling and poked on the chest with scissors – were revealed in a Hong Kong court when her father and stepmother appeared in the defendant’s dock on a charge of murder on Tuesday morning.

On Saturday, the girl, Chan Sui-lam, was rushed to hospital unconscious and covered in bruises. She was certified dead upon arrival. Some of her wounds were older and had been infected.

Her father Chan Hoi-ping, 26, a transport worker, and stepmother Wong Hiu-tung, 27, a housewife, have been detained since their arrest on Saturday afternoon and appeared at Tuen Mun court before Acting Principal Magistrate Ivy Chui Yee-mei on Tuesday.

Father and stepmother face murder charge after girl, 5, dies in suspected child abuse case

The court prosecutor read out a statement given to police by the girl’s two siblings – the man’s eight-year-old son with his ex-wife and the woman’s seven-year-old daughter with her ex-husband.

The two children said the couple “punished” the youngest sister on Friday by throwing her up in the air many times at home.

“The couple held the girl under her arms and tossed her up a dozen times, causing her head to hit the ceiling. They also swung her by holding both her arms,” prosecutor Wai Mei-nga told the court.

The family of five lived in a flat in Tuen Mun with the girl’s step-grandmother.

On Saturday morning, the girl said she felt sick and was taken unconscious to Tuen Mun Hospital after police were alerted at 1.15pm, the prosecutor told the court. The girl was declared dead at 2.38pm.

“The two siblings said the deceased girl and the [eight-year-old boy] were assaulted almost daily. Their arms and legs were beaten with canes. Their faces were smacked with slippers. Their chests were poked with scissors,” the prosecutor said.

The court also heard the two children were not fed or allowed to rest properly.

“The deceased girl and the [boy] were often not given enough food. At Lunar New Year and Christmas, they were only given a small amount of food at night,” the prosecutor said.

“They were also often asked to sleep on the floor of the living room without thick blankets.”

The defendants said they understood the charge of one count of murder after the clerk read out the indictment. The father, who wore a blue jacket, and stepmother, who was in a black outfit and wore a mask, kept their heads down when the prosecutor read out the reports given by their surviving children.

The police and prosecutors were granted another eight weeks for further investigation. The prosecutor said the police needed to obtain a report on the cause of death, forensic analysis of the blood found on some objects collected from the scene, and more detailed medical reports of the deceased girl and her elder brother – who was also found covered with bruises and scratches.

The court would hear the case again on March 6. The couple would remain in custody as their lawyers did not apply for bail.