A woman who was convicted and fined in relation to an attack by her pet dogs tried to jump off a footbridge outside a Hong Kong court Monday in a suspected suicide attempt.
Agitated at a judge’s decision to fine her HK$18,000 and have her two Tibetan mastiffs listed as dangerous dogs, 56-year-old Cecilia Chui attempted to throw herself off an overpass near the Tuen Mun Court.
As she tried to climb the railing, she was heard shouting loudly, denouncing what she deemed as injustice done to her.
“One can always find excuses if you want to punish another,” Chui said among other things, before some passersby prevented her from jumping, Apple Daily reported.
The incident happened shortly after the Tuen Mun Court found Chui guilty of failing to control her dogs in public.
Chui had faced charges after her two Tibetan mastiffs viciously attacked a 22-year-old neighbor in a village in Yuen Long last November, causing the victim to be hospitalized for several days.
Chui pleaded not guilty to negligence charges, but a judge gave an adverse ruling Monday.
The dog owner did not take sufficient measures, such as setting up a secure gate, to prevent the attack, the judge said.
Chui refused to accept the blame, arguing that even a carefully planned gate cannot always ensure that dogs don’t slip away.
The judge didn’t accept her argument and found her guilty, imposing a substantial fine on the defendant.
Apart from the fine, the judge also ruled that the two large-sizes dogs should be listed as dangerous ones.
It means that the Tibetan mastiffs will have to undergo a sterilization operation and wear leashes when they are taken out in the streets.
The defendant strongly opposed the ruling, saying the sterilization might put the dogs’ lives in danger if things go wrong during the medical procedure.
Chui’s domestic helper, a 41-year-old Indonesian named Juminem, who was responsible for taking care of her employer’s dogs, pleaded guilty for her part earlier and was fined HK$12,000.
Chui, who insisted on pleading not guilty even after she apologized to the victim several times, got agitated after walking out of the court and attempted to jump off an overpass.
Timely intervention by some passersby prevented what could have been a potentially fatal move.
With her two pets now listed as dangerous animals, Chui will face HK$25,000 fine and three months imprisonment if she violates the Dangerous Dogs Regulation in the future.
Woman charged over Tibetan mastiffs attack pleads not guilty (Aug.12, 2016)
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