Woman with mental age of a two-year-old who ‘gouged out sister’s eye’ not fit to enter plea, Eastern Court in HK was told

18-May-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

A Hong Kong woman accused of gouging out her sister’s eye is unfit to enter a plea, according to psychiatrists who found her intellectual capacity lower than a two-year-old.

Eastern Court heard two experts from Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre recommend detaining Ma Wai-king, 59, in hospital for six months after concluding her mental age was that of a 21-month-old child.

The assessment was made after Ma was charged with one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm for assaulting her bedridden sister Ma Wai-kuen, 66, on April 30.

Police had yet to obtain medical reports on the injured Ma but prosecutors said her condition was serious as she remained in hospital and had been transferred to the psychiatric ward for further treatment.

I hope the case will end soon. [This] has been very hard on me, like torture

Ma Wai-cheong, the third sister

Now prosecutors will have to decide how to proceed with the case.

Seven police officers guarded the defendant as she slumped in a wheelchair, while two more officers were on standby outside the dock.

She did not respond to any part of Thursday’s proceedings, but made incomprehensible groans that drowned out other speakers in court.

Her other sister Ma Wai-cheong, 64, said in tears: “I hope the case will end soon. [This] has been very hard on me, like torture.”

Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen urged prosecutors to proceed as quickly as possible and consider alternative methods to prove their case, if they intended to ask for a hospital order.

Instead of having the victim testify in court, Law suggested prosecutors submit her statement to spare her the painful experience of recounting the incident again.

“This is a special case,” the magistrate said. “But I believe the Department of Justice has sufficient experience and wisdom to overcome the obstacles at each stage.”

Law also appealed to the defendant’s other sister to trust that professionals would take care of her.

“I understand your pressure, I’m also aware that you wish to care for her and that you have for many years,” he said.

“Let professionals take over. Letting go does not mean you are giving up on her.”

“I hope she would be well taken care of,” the sister replied, while dabbing her eye with a tissue.

The case was adjourned to May 23 for prosecutors to seek further legal advice.



Category: Hong Kong

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