Scandal-hit nursing home to be closed

HONG KONG • The authorities in Hong Kong are closing down a nursing home for the disabled following a sex scandal and reports of suspicious deaths at the centre.

The Bridge of Rehabilitation said it is not appealing against the decision. It will also help its residents transfer to other homes, reported The Standard.

The scandal centres on allegations that the former head of the Bridge of Rehabilitation sexually assaulted a mentally disabled female resident in his care.

Mr Cheung Kin Wah had charges against him dropped in May because his alleged victim was declared unfit to testify.

But his case came to public attention in the past week when he tried to claim legal costs, according to Hong Kong media and BBC News.

The case has sparked public fury and demands for an overhaul of care-home management in the densely populated city.

A petition calling for formal disciplinary action to be taken against Mr Cheung collected more than 110,000 signatures.

Mr Cheung has given repeated interviews in the past week, insisting that he is innocent.

In an interview with radio station RTHK, he said: "I am the victim. She's not."

His claim for legal costs was rejected. In allegations dating back to 2014, Mr Cheung was accused of abusing the then 21-year old woman, who has a mental age of an eight-year-old.

The privately run centre, home to 79 residents, came under greater scrutiny after Apple Daily reported at least eight cases of death among its residents this year, including a suicide and two patients who choked to death on food. Police are still investigating one death from fall from height, involving a 14-year-old boy, in August.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2016, with the headline 'Scandal-hit nursing home to be closed'. Print Edition | Subscribe