NEWS – Civil Servant Guilty of Causing Actual Bodily Harm to Domestic Worker

On September 1 the District Court convicted former civil servant Au Wai-chun of causing actual bodily harm to Begum Raksona, a woman from Bangladesh who did domestic work in her home. The incident occurred in September last year at Au’s home at Bauhinia Garden in Tseung Kwan O. The court heard that a dispute arose when Au became angry that a cup of water given to her by Raksona was not hot enough.

Bauhinia Garden in Tseung Kwan O

Bauhinia Garden in Tseung Kwan O, via Wikicommons

Au was charged with causing grievous bodily harm for pouring scalding water over Raksona, who suffered first and second degree burns on her chest. Prosecutor Matthew Chong Chun-sang shared medical records of Raksona’s burns, as well as CCTV footage of her leaving Au’s home after the incident, appearing to be in pain.

Au, 61, pled not guilty, arguing that she was not physically capable of carrying out the assault due to pain in her limbs. Au has been seen in court wearing a neck brace and bandaged wrists. Au also told the court that she had been in the shower at the time of the assault.

Raksona reported to the District Court that she was “treated like dirt” by Au. According to Raksona, Leung Sher-ying, a friend Au’s, is the employer listed on Raksona’s work contract. It remains unclear why Raksona was working in Au’s home.

Counsel for the defense, Judy Ma, argued that Raksona had poured the burning water on herself in order to extort money from Au and Leung to return home. Judge Pang Chung-ping pointed out the unlikelihood of this given that Raksona is still in Hong Kong and has already accepted $8,000 in compensation.  Au will be sentenced on September 22 pending paperwork from her doctors.