A nanny, her two children and a female friend pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday to charges of violent abuse of a six-year-old boy whom the nanny was paid to look after in her home.
The 43-year-old nanny, surnamed Chan, her 17-year-old son, surnamed Lam and 19-year-old daughter, also surnamed Lam, along with a 30-year-old woman surnamed Ngai, allegedly burned the boy’s hand with a lighter, forced him to perform 1,000 squat jumps and whipped him with a cane with his wrists and mouth covered with tapes.
The judge sentenced Chan and Ngai to six months in prison while Chan’s daughter was given an 18-month probation. Her son will remain in custody until a sentence is passed on June 14, pending background and psychological assessments, Ming Pao Daily reports.
In pleading for leniency, Chan said she was under severe pressure after her daughter was diagnosed with early psychosis. She said her two sons are hyperactive.
Chan said she acted on impulse to punish the boy, whom she accused of stealing money from her home in Wong Tai Sin.
She said the boy did not sustain any permanent injury.
The judge called the punishment torture, saying the boy was subjected to maltreatment and a horrifying experience by people older than him.
The court heard that when the boy was found to have stolen HK$200 cash from Chan’s home on Oct. 11 last year, Chan’s son punished him by burning his hand with a lighter and subsequently ordered the boy to perform 700 squat jumps.
When the boy refused, he was dragged to the toilet, with Chan’s son pouring water over the boy’s head.
Chan ordered the boy to perform another 1,000 squat jumps. When the boy refused, Chan allegedly heated the floor tiles and forced the boy to jump on it.
Ngai used a cane to whip the boy with his mouth and wrists covered with tapes. She also slapped him on the face, according to the writ.
Chan’s daughter allegedly punched the boy once in the chest.
Ngai subsequently called the boy’s mother and asked for HK$2,000 as compensation for the HK$200 theft, the court heard.
The boy’s mother refused. She found out about her son’s injuries when she fetched him later that night, according to Apple Daily.
Police arrested the four defendants the next day.
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