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Filipina DH jailed for 4 weeks for hurting 3-yr-old ward

07 January 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Tuen Mun magistrate reminded a Filipino domestic helper that Hong Kong law forbids assaulting a child, as he sentenced her to four weeks in jail on Jan. 7 for slapping her three-year-old ward’s hands and hitting him on the butt with a broom.

Magistrate Jacky Ip imposed the sentence on Eden Inabiohan, a single mother with a young son, two weeks after she pleaded guilty to four counts of “ill treatment of a child.”

A duty lawyer assigned to defend the helper asked the magistrate for a lenient sentence, saying no injury was found on the child during the two days that doctors in Tuen Mun hospital had examined him.

The helper was said to be remorseful, and had been used to a practice in the Philippines where parents could spank their children for misbehaving.
“But this in Hong Kong, where assaulting a child is a serious offense,” Magistrate Ip said.

He gave only the standard discount of a third of the prescribed sentence for her guilty plea.

Inabiohan was arrested by police on Nov 26 after her female employer reported that her son had been assaulted by the maid a day earlier.

Investigators who reviewed the CCTV footage in the employer’s home saw the helper slapping the boy’s hands and butt, and then hitting him on his butt with a broom.

The maid said she lost her temper when she heard the boy use foul language after she scolded him for scattering food.

Inabiohan had been working for the employer since February last year. It was her first time to work outside of the Philippines.

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