A Hong Kong kindergarten teacher accused of slapping a three-year-old pupil with a relative in the police force has been cleared of all charges after prosecutors found they did not have enough evidence to back their case.
Acting principal magistrate Ivy Chui Yee-mei on Friday cleared Lin Ka-wing, 40, of one count of assault by those in charge of child or young person, after the prosecution revealed they had no other witnesses besides the three-year-old – identified only as X.
Kwun Tong Court heard Lin was accused of wilfully assaulting X in a kindergarten toilet in Tseung Kwan O one day in September this year, in a manner likely to cause her unnecessary suffering.
The case arose from a complaint by the child’s mother, which went viral online as she accused a schoolteacher of asking pupils to take part in role play where those pretending to be protesters would hit and shine laser pens at X, acting as a police officer.
The mother further accused the teacher of taking X to a toilet to slap her 20 times in the chest.
A report was made to police on October 2.
The same day, the kindergarten issued a declaration to parents, denying the allegations of role play and revealing it had reported the case to the authorities.
Lin was arrested the following day and taken to court on October 4.
The Department of Justice had previously asked the court for time to review its decision on whether to continue with the present charge.
Meanwhile, two men were each fined HK$1,500 (US$192) by Kowloon City Court after they admitted assaulting a stranger in a bid to stop him from scolding and swearing at two women during a dispute at a Lennon Wall outside Austin MTR station on July 10.
The court heard that cook Wong Chi-sing, 37, and construction worker Dee Wong Chi-cheong, 38, came across Tai Chung-ho arguing with two women while they were on their way home and pulled his hair and collar in an attempt to remove him from the scene.
The brothers pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of common assault, punishable by one year in prison.
Their defence lawyer argued they got involved out of the “goodness in their hearts” and pleaded for non-custodial sentences.
Acting principal magistrate Ada Yim Shun-yee replied a fine was an appropriate sentence in this case but warned against a repeat.
“One cannot use such means to handle disputes in public,” Yim said. “Violence, be it verbal or physical, cannot be used to solve a situation on the road.”
More from South China Morning Post:
- Hong Kong kindergarten denies allegation under police investigation that child was assaulted by teacher, who held ‘protest role play’ in class
- Hong Kong kindergarten teacher charged with assaulting three-year-old girl