Two more people who worked at a Hong Kong children’s home at the centre of an abuse scandal have pleaded guilty to charges of assault.

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

Standing before the courtroom at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday, Cheung Wai-yin, 30, pleaded guilty to assaulting, ill-treating and neglecting two one-year-old boys. Lee Pui-ching, 32, pleaded to the same charge relating to a two-year-old, local media reported.

Chan Oi-ying, 23, pleaded not guilty, while the remaining five had yet to submit their plea.

The case was adjourned to September for mitigation and sentencing.

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

To date, 34 employees at the Children’s Residential Home, operated by charity the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children, have been charged over the scandal.

Two employees were earlier sentenced to four and around seven months.

‘Outrageous’ abuse

The abuse first came to light last December, when local media reported a spate of assault cases at the Mong Kok residential home involving dozens of toddlers.

Then-chief executive Carrie Lam called the case “outrageous,” and asked authorities to investigate potential negligence at the organisation.

Former chief executive Carrie Lam. File photo: Lea Mok/HKFP.

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.”

In the wake of the abuse scandal, the Social Welfare Department said it would deploy a dedicated team to monitor the daily operation of the Children’s Residential Home.

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Hillary Leung

Hillary has an interest in social issues and politics. Previously, she reported on Asia broadly - including on Hong Kong's 2019 protests - for TIME Magazine and covered local news at Coconuts Hong Kong.