Hong Kong man gets probation for beating friend's 7-year-old daughter and trying to feed her dog food

HONG KONG - A father of three who beat his friend's seven-year-old daughter before he enclosed her in a toilet with two dogs, tried to feed her dog food and held her upside down, has been placed on probation for 12 months, reported South China Morning Post.

Tam Kai-wun, 27, had pleaded guilty last Thursday (Nov 10) in Hong Kong's Tuen Mun Court to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and another of ill treatment or neglect by those in charge of a young person.

The court previously heard that Tam, a chef, got emotional in April because the girl was said to have hurt his son. As a result, he picked up a rattan stick and a vacuum cleaner tube to hit her.

On another occasion, he made her finish her homework with two dogs in the toilet and fed her dog food, which she refused. The court also heard that Tam held the girl upside down, which left her in great discomfort.

The case was made known to police by a social worker. Subsequent medical checks at Tuen Mun Hospital revealed that the girl had suffered bruises on both arms and her left thigh, which was also swollen.

Defence lawyer Nick Wong said in mitigation last Thursday that the offence was unusual as people knew Tam as a kind and responsible father.

Citing the girl's impact assessment, Mr Wong also brought up that the incident had limited impact on her as she had essentially forgotten the incident.

Acting principal magistrate Merinda Chow Yin-chu said that it was not right to use any verbal or actual violence in the care of a young child, especially one who was only seven.

But she heeded the probation officer's recommendation as she acknowledged it was a one-off event for a usually good-tempered man who could not handle his emotions at the time.

"The court also took into consideration that you have been remanded for some time since Oct 6 over this case," the magistrate said.

She placed Tam on probation under the condition that he attends compulsory psychological therapy and a social support rehabilitation programme.