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High Court dismisses helper’s appeal vs. conviction for assaulting ward

20 April 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao
The judge says she will give her reasons for rejecting the appeal later

A High Court judge has rejected a Filipina domestic worker’s appeal against her conviction and sentence last year for assaulting her boy ward.

Judge Remedios D’Almada said at the close of the appeal hearing today, Apr 20, that she will give the reasons for her verdict in a written judgment to be issued in due course.

Angela Vivo, 51, appealed against her conviction and nine-week jail sentence imposed by Kowloon City Magistrate Raymond Wong on Sept 26 last year, saying the trial judge had been selective in considering the evidence.

After rejecting the appeal, Judge D’Almada ordered Vivo to begin serving her sentence immediately.

Vivo had been free on bail after her lawyer, Phil Chau, filed an appeal notice immediately in the District Court after the sentencing, then returned to the courtroom and applied for bail.

Chau said in his grounds for appeal that the magistrate should have acquitted the domestic worker based on the evidence.

He also said the magistrate did not consider why the employer reported the alleged assaults only after the maid had lodged a claim for long service payment at the Labour Tribunal.
After failing to win the appeal, Chau said he was still unhappy over Vivo’s conviction. But he said with good behavior, the helper should be out of prison after a month.

The maid had already spent two weeks in jail before her sentencing. But she was granted bail on Sept 26 to pursue her appeal.

Wong convicted Vivo on the first and third charges of “assault or ill-treatment of those in charge of a child”, saying the prosecution had proven her guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

But he acquitted her of another count of ill-treatment and two charges of indecently assaulting the now 11-year-old.

Vivo, the boy’s nanny since he was three, was found to have pulled his hair so hard in July 2016 that his scalp was injured. She was also found guilty of pinching his left arm, leaving him with a “very painful” bruise.

While fighting her case, Vivo stayed in a shelter operated by NGO Christian Action.

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