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Teacher pleads not guilty to assault & intimidation of Filipina DH

23 July 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

The secondary school teacher entered her 'not guilty' pleas at West Kowloon Magistracy 

An emphatic “not guilty” was the reply given in court today, Jul 23, by a secondary school teacher to each of the six charges filed against her, in connection with her alleged assault and ill-treatment of Filipina domestic helper Eden Pales who used to work for her.

Mak Pui Shan, 35, entered her plea to the charges before Magistrate Ivy Chui in West Kowloon Magistracy during a hearing conducted entirely in Cantonese.


After consulting with the prosecution and the defense lawyers, Magistrate Chui set down the trial for Oct 11-13, and extended Mak’s bail of $10,000 cash and $5,000 surety.

The magistrate also allowed Mak’s request to have her reporting schedule to the police changed from 3-6 pm to 12pm -3pm, Mondays to Fridays, saying she needed to take care of her two kids during the previously set time.

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The frail-looking defendant who came to court with her husband, is charged with one count of assault, three counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, one count of administering a noxious substance, and one of criminal intimidation.

In the first charge, Mak is accused of committing common assault by banging Pales’ head on the wall and pulling her hair on an unknown day between October and November last year in their house at Tower B in Serenade Court, Tsuen Wan.


In the second charge, Mak is alleged to have forced Pales to eat congee mixed with washing detergent sometime in February this year, also in their Tsuen Wan flat.

The third to fifth charges are all for assault occasioning bodily harm.


The third charge allegedly happened between Feb 24 and 28, when Pales accused Mak of scratching her deeply on her back, from the nape down, for failing to finish a chore.

The fourth charge allegedly involved several incidents that happened on May 25 this year. Pales accused Mak of emptying a bag of toys on her head, then later slapping her and hitting her repeatedly on her thighs and belly with a metal spatula.


The final alleged assault supposedly took place last May 29. Pales claimed the employer slapped her repeatedly, then punched her hard on the chest and her back.

Pictures shared on Facebook show Pales' badly bruised thighs a day after she left Mak's house

The sixth charge of criminal intimidation was said to have happened on the same day, when Mak allegedly threatened to kill Pales and not pay her salary.

Pales left Mak’s house the next day and sought help from her employment agency, who advised her to go to the police.

Pindutin para sa detalye

In court today, the prosecution said Pales wanted an early court date for the trial as her only reason for remaining in Hong Kong was to push ahead with the case. The lawyer said Pales’ accommodation and other expenses are being provided for by the Philippine Consulate.

The prosecution also told the court that it would be presenting five witnesses, and asked that the trial be conducted in English. However, the magistrate rejected the application, saying the defendant is a local.

The defense said it may have seven witnesses.

Also taken up during the hearing was a case filed by Pales against Mak at the Labour Tribunal, for which an Aug 5 hearing date has been set.

Mak complained that a letter she sent to the Tribunal asking for a postponement because of the ongoing police case, had not been answered.

The prosecution agreed that this violated the restriction against any form of contact between the parties while the criminal case is ongoing. Thus, the labour case should be postponed.

The court advised the defendant that if she is still made to attend the hearing, she should make sure she does not talk to Pales at all about the case.

In the labour case, Pales is seeking a total claim of $25,523.04, representing her unpaid salary, a month’s wage in lieu of notice, air fare, travel allowance, and payment for all the rest days in nearly a year that she said she was not allowed to leave Mak’s house.

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