A woman who stands accused of assaulting two Hongkongers in Sha Tin was seen leaving a court building in a private car after a hearing on Wednesday morning, prompting questions over why special arrangements had been made. The judiciary said that it was because the situation was chaotic, whilst the police said cited public safety concerns.
The 27-year-old defendant from mainland China was charged with wounding and assault. She was arrested after allegedly pushing and attacking a 55-year-old woman and her 28-year-old daughter, who had told her off for her son’s poor behaviour. The older woman reportedly suffered from a stroke following the attack.
The incident attracted much attention online after an account was posted by the victim’s other daughter.
The defendant, who is from the mainland, appeared before the Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court. She was granted bail of HK$50,000 and the case was adjourned until June 8. She also had to hand over her two-way permit and is not allowed to leave the city in the meantime.
Many protesters gathered outside the court during the hearing, but court staff pulled down the gates and blocked them from entering the car park. Ming Pao reported that the defendant may have used a staff entrance channel and was escorted away in a white private car, raising questions over whether she was receiving “special treatment”.
The judiciary told Ming Pao on Wednesday evening that because there was an increasing number of people in the court lobby, and the situation was chaotic, the staff at the court believed that there was a need to bring down the gate leading to the carpark.
The judiciary said that usually after the completion of bail procedures, defendants could leave the law court buildings on their own and they would not provide any special assistance, but from their understanding the police made such arrangements in accordance with the circumstances. The police said that the escort arrangements were made after a risk assessment for the purposes of protecting public order and safety.