A woman's breasts as an assault weapon? No kidding

July 31, 2015 06:00
Ng Lai-ying (right) is shown being restrained by police officers earlier this year. Police commander Franklin Chu (left) said the baton is an extension of his arm. Photos: Apple Daily, Inmediahk

For sheer preposterousness, nothing tops it. There's a close second if you like.

But as a judicial precedent, an assault conviction on the basis of the use of a woman's breasts as a weapon turns the legal system on its head.

That's exactly what happened when a Hong Kong magistrate found a woman guilty of assaulting a policeman with her breasts during a chaotic protest earlier this year. 

Ng Lai-ying, 30, was sentenced to three months and 15 days in jail.

That she was convicted on such a ridiculous charge is laughable enough but it's incredibly appalling when you look at the evidence. [US late night comedians lap up breast assault joke (Aug. 5, 2015)]

While the victim failed to reasonably prove the extent of his injuries, Ng was shown in photos and video clips with a bloodied mouth being manhandled by policemen.

Even assuming her injuries did not happen at the exact same time she attacked the policeman, these almost told you who was beating whom.

Deputy magistrate Michael Chan said the verdict is a warning against "humiliating" policemen in the future.

Which would have made sense if that, in fact, was the case.

The incident happened during a chaotic dispersal of an anti-parallel trading protest in Yuen Long that was marred by scuffles, meaning there was a fair amount of pushing and shoving.

If anyone was shamed, it was Ng who suffered from the notion that her breasts were big and powerful enough to be an assault weapon.   

There's a sense Ng's attempt to hit back by accusing the policeman of indecently assaulting her helped do her in. 

In any event, Hong Kong people were aghast at the verdict. The world was bemused. [Men wear bra to protest woman’s breast assault conviction (Aug. 3, 2015)]

The news caught fire on the internet and the international media, including Time magazine, picked up the story and ran with it.

Chan has become famous for the wrong reasons, but the biggest joke is on Hong Kong's vaunted rule of law and justice system which have just become the laughing stock of the world.

Chan's case is only the latest in a string of legal entanglements involving the Hong Kong police.

These followed last year's democracy protests which were marred by accusations of police brutality.

Recent incidents including the refusal of the former police chief to apologize for his men's harsh conduct during the protests and the department's handing of public complaints against officers have created the impression the police are above the law.

In October last year, police commnder Franklin Chu was accused of using his baton on civilians who were peacefully obeying orders in a Mong Kok protest area.

Chu argued that the baton is an extension of his arm and got away with it. [No crime by senior cop who beat people during Occupy, police say (Aug. 6, 2015)]

It's hard to imagine these instances won't happen again when simple logic and common sense are becoming increasingly conspicuous by their absence.

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No crime by senior cop who beat people during Occupy, police say (Aug. 6, 2015)

US late night comedians lap up breast assault joke (Aug. 5, 2015)

Men wear bra to protest woman’s breast assault conviction (Aug. 3, 2015)

Actress Gloria Yip launches campaign against breast verdict (July 31, 2015)

Woman jailed for 3.5 months for attacking police with breasts (July 30, 2015)

Used baton as ‘extension of my arm’, says police officer (July 22, 2015)

How to lose confidence in the justice system (July 20, 2015)

Cancer-stricken elderly couple avoid jail over Occupy assault (July 15, 2015)

EJ Insight writer