OFW fined $2,000 for wounding fellow Pinay in HK
SAYING she had learned a “painful lesson,” a judge in Sai Wan Ho fined an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) instead of sending her to jail for wounding her fellow domestic worker in Shek Tong Tsui.
Eastern Deputy Magistrate Clement Lau Chung-man on September 18 imposed a $2,000 fine on Maria Fe H.P. after she pleaded guilty to the charge of “wounding” her fellow Filipino woman at their employer’s flat on the 17th floor of The Belcher’s Tower 8.
“After this incident, she has lost her job and, upon this conviction, I’m afraid she will have difficulty in remaining as an FDH in Hong Kong in the future,” said Judge Lau, noting that Maria Fe was able to maintain a clean record in her 17 years of working in HK.
“The defendant acted impuIsively. I accept she has learned a painful lesson from this incident. I hope you can think about your future in controlling your temper,” he added.
Judge Lau had asked for a probation report to determine if Maria Fe could do community service as her sentence.
While the probation officer reported positively about the Filipina—she had no vices and was remorseful about what happened—the officer said there were “practical difficulties” since her visa was set to expire on September 25.
The prosecution asked the Immigration Department if Maria Fe’s visa would be extended if she were ordered to do community service but was told that there was still a possibility that it might not be renewed.
The incident happened on May 22 in the flat of their employer when the Maria Fe complained about the congee that the victim prepared. Their employer was not home at the time.
“(Maria Fe) had complained before that (the victim) was not good at cooking meals,” the prosecutor said.
The fighting started when defendant complained about the congee she was served and asked if there was any other food, like vegetables, but was told that there was none. The driver allegedly got angry and grabbed the pot with the congee and dumped its contents in the sink.
The prosecutor said Maria Fe then took the lid of the pot and went after the victim. Another Filipino domestic worker employed by their boss heard the commotion and went to the kitchen.
The victim hid behind her as she tried to pacify Maria Fe but the defendant hit the victim twice on the head and nape. She also threw a chair at the victim, hitting her on the shoulder.
The victim then ran to the sala and called the police. She was later brought to the Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, where she was treated because her head was bleeding.
Maria Fe left the flat after the victim informed their employer about what happened. The employer told Maria Fe to come back and she was later arrested by the police. During investigation, the defendant admitted to the crime.
The crime of “wounding” is a serious offense in HK and carries a penalty of up to three years imprisonment.
“Although I’m imposing a fine as a penalty in this case, I must emphasize that I’m not sending out a message that this offense is a less serious offense,” Judge Lau said. “You must understand that your act caused injury and it was not a minor injury. I hope you can think about your future in controlling your temper,” he added.