A Hong Kong court has denied bail to four people who were part of a group of former children’s home employees accused of abusing at least 35 children, and made public the full Chinese names of 20 defendants in the case.

Nineteen people appeared in front of Acting Principal Magistrate Peony Wong at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts on Monday in connection with an alleged child abuse scandal at a residential children’s care home in Mong Kok. A total of 24 people have been charged.

Kowloon City Law Courts Building
Kowloon City Law Courts Building. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The group, aged between 23 and 63, stands accused of “assault by those in charge of a child or young person.” They were all employees of the Children’s Residential Home, which is operated by the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children.

According to the Children’s Residential Home website, the centre provided “round-the-clock care” for children up to three years old who “have been referred to us by court order, abandoned by their parents, orphaned, or belong to families suffering acute social problems.”

The defendants who appeared in court on Monday included Chiu Wing-sin, 44, Wong Kit-ying, 23, Chong Ka-yi, 25, Li Hiu-yee, 25, Chiu Wan-hung, 28, Yeung Shuk-yee, 33, Fung Fung-ho, 63, Lee Wai-man, 24, Chan Lai-kuen, 55, Ng Ka-wing, 45, Tse Sau-wai, 25, Kwok Oi-ping, 28, Shirley Chan, 49, Amy Tang, 25, Crystal Chau, 28, Lam Mei-po, 56, Heung Wing-san, 46, Cheung Wai-yin, 29, and Fung Hoi-lei, 25.

The magistrate approved an application by the prosecution, led by Senior Public Prosecutor Human Lam, to make public the full Chinese names of the defendants. Some of the names have been translated from Chinese by HKFP.

Lam said that allowing the defendants to be represented using English codes was a mistake, and made the application based on the principle of open justice.

Wong also approved the prosecution’s application for an anonymity order for the victims, banning any reporting of the identities of the children involved in the case.

‘Seriousness of the allegations’

After “considering the seriousness of the allegations,” the magistrate denied bail to four people, Chiu Wing-sin, Chong Ka-yi, Li Hiu-yee, and Ng Ka-wing.

Children's Residential Home
Children’s Residential Home. Photo: Children’s Residential Home website.

Under court reporting restrictions, written and broadcast reports are limited to only including the result of a bail proceedings, the name of the person applying for bail and their representation, and the offence concerned.

After Wong announced her decision, two defendants standing in the court sobbed, while the four who were denied bail stepped into the dock.

The case was adjourned to April 25 to allow the police to review remaining CCTV footage and obtain instructions from the Department of Justice.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.