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Court clears Filipina driver of charge of bumping elderly woman

25 January 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap

Licudo (right) poses happily outside court with her employer Kevin Yeh and barrister Denise Souza

A Filipina driver who worried for months over a wrongful claim that she had bumped an elderly woman while reversing her employer’s car was finally cleared of a charge of careless driving today, Jan 25.

A jubilant Jennifer M. Licudo walked free from Eastern Court accompanied by her employer, Kevin Yeh, and the lawyer he hired to defend her, Denise Souza.

With her eyes almost tearing, Licudo, 37, said: “Ang tagal kong nag-alala sa kaso na ito.” (“This case had me worried for a long time).


Luckily, her employers gave her full support every step of the way, outraged that the police found reason to charge her based merely on the say-so of the woman who apparently got angry only because her complaint of being nearly hit by the car was ignored.

Outside court, the first person Licudo sent a message to about her victory was her female employer, whom she thanked profusely. She said her employers, with whom she has just renewed her contract, have been so supportive that they never let her stop driving for them even after the incident.

In court earlier, Magistrate Gary Chu ruled that the complainant, 66-year-old Maggie Fung, was an unreliable witness, pointing in particular to her act of going ahead with a lunch appointment instead of complaining to the police after the alleged incident.


“We (also wonder) why she did not go to the police immediately after being hit and still went to lunch,” said the magistrate.

He described as “unreasonable and difficult to understand” Fung’s explanation that she took time to file a complaint as it was her first time to get involved in a car accident and she had thought initially of just warning Licudo.

Chu also said that it “defied common sense” that after claiming to have been hit by the car, Fung’s first words to Licudo were “You almost hit me” instead of saying outright that she had been bumped.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The alleged incident happened at about 1pm on May 29, 2021, near the corner of Sing Woo and Yuen Yuen streets in Happy Valley.

Fung claimed that as she was about to get onto a taxi that she hailed at the corner, a 7-seater van being driven by Licudo bumped into her as it was reversing.

Fung claimed she shouted, “Stop, stop!” then went over to the driver’s side of the vehicle and began pounding of the window, signaling for it to be opened. Then she shouted, “You almost hit me!”

However, the driver allegedly just crossed her arms and ignored her.

Press for details

The elderly woman said she took a picture of the vehicle and then left for her lunch appointment. But over lunch, she said she started feeling pain on her waist where she had been bumped and decided to go back to her home in Happy Valley and complain to the police.

On cross examination, Souza tried to get Fung to pinpoint exactly where she had been standing before the alleged incident and failed to get a clear answer.

Souza also drew out that Fung had taken several shots of the parked vehicle days after the accident and submitted these to the police. The police, in turn, also took shots of the car after ordering Licudo and her employer to go back to the scene, and used these as evidence.


A police officer who was called as a prosecution witness agreed that the pictures were taken hours after the alleged incident. He also agreed on questioning by the defense that Licudo had volunteered to give a statement in which she denied that the alleged incident happened.

In the statement, Licudo said Fung left after she had taken out her mobile phone and was in the act of calling the police to stop the woman from harassing her.

Souza also pointed out that Fung did not say anything in her own cautioned statement to the police about interacting with Licudo, not even the part where she allegedly said “You almost hit me.”

In her closing statement, Souza said, “I would argue that the incident clearly did not occur and in any case the prosecution was not able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.”

She also said Fung’s statements were “very inconsistent and muddled.”

The court ordered costs to be paid to the defendant, after Souza said there was nothing in the evidence to show that Licudo had done anything to cast suspicion on herself.

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