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Trial on for Filipina who denies assault on 2-year-old ward

20 May 2023


The Filipina DH is on trial for alleged child abue

A Hong Kong man who accused his Filipina domestic helper of assaulting his two-year-old son thrice last March, said in a trial in West Kowloon Law Courts on Friday, May 19, that he called the police after reviewing CCTV footage and actually seeing the defendant “throwing” his son ward into a cot.

The employer, Mr Chan, 30, was the lone prosecution witness in the trial of Shaira Joy Umbao, who pleaded not guilty to three charges of “wilful assault causing injury to a child.”

At the opening of the originally planned one-day trial before Magistrate Leung Ka-kie, the police officers who arrested Umbao and investigated her begged off from giving evidence, leaving the victim’s father as the lone prosecution witness. The defendant is also slated to give evidence.


Upon questioning by the prosecutor, Chan said the assaults took place on March 14, 15 and 16 this year inside his flat in Shek Yen House, On Yam, Kwai Chung, New Territories.

To support Chan’s accusations, the prosecution played back five CCTV footages that show the moments the alleged assaults took place

The first video clip taken from overhead on March 14 showed the helper pulling the child’s hands with force as to raise him as he lay on the sofa crying. The child’s crying and the helper’s angry voice got louder as she yanked the boy.


The second footage showed the seated child’s legs being pulled with force to turn the boy about 90 degrees right towards the defendant.

The third footage showed the helper grabbing the child’s feet and pressing them against a Lego toy on the sofa. The boy at first seemed to be giggling but his voice turned into crying.

The fourth video showed a woman’s lower half-body leaving the masters’ room and a child lying on his right side on his cot. The prosecutor said the footage did not capture the moment when the defendant threw the boy into the cot, as alleged by the father, but added that Chan insisted he saw Umbao actually throw the boy into the cot.

Magkano? Pindutin ito!

During cross-examination of Chan by defense lawyer Vivian Wong, the witness denied that since the Filipina started working for her in April 2021, she was only allowed to go out thrice on her holiday.

He denied he was letting the helper work during Umbao’s day off without pay, saying he was paying her $170 each day off that she was asked to work.

The witness also denied that he was letting the helper work from 6am to 1am. Chan disagreed but struggled to explain why the helper had no room and had to sleep in the living room.


Wong also got Chan to indirectly admit monitoring his helper on CCTV even in wee hours, quickly adding that the camera was focused on Umbao’s feet only, after the defense lawyer asked her how he knew that the helper was awake watching TV drama or chatting with her mother on the phone.    

When pressed on his statement about the helper chatting with her mother at 4am, he said the mother was in a different time zone so she was already awake. Wong corrected him, saying Hong Kong and the Philippines are on the same time zone.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The defense lawyer also got Chan to admit that he was treating Umbao harshly because he noticed that the helper and his wife have close and friendly relations. But he denied the two women were “sometimes holding hands while walking.”

Chan said at first he, too, was friendly to Umbao, but when he noticed that she and his wife were beginning to get close, he treated her harsher as a counterbalance.

Magistrate Leung adjourned the trial until May 23, when Umbao will give evidence and Wong will sum up the defense’s case.

The lawyer also applied for bail for Umbao, saying she had been already in remand for more than two months since her arrest and might be detained longer than her sentence, if convicted.     

Leung refused the bail application just the same.

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