Charges dropped against 80-year-old woman who was livestreamed threatening to kill domestic worker

Screengrab via Facebook video.
Screengrab via Facebook video.

An 80-year-old woman who was livestreamed hitting and threatening to kill her Indonesian domestic worker will be placed on a good behavior bond after the charges against her were dropped.

Pang Yuk-ching was arrested in March and charged with three counts of common assault and one count of intimidation after her domestic helper Tri Wahyuni, 35, livestreamed the assault in a video that has now been viewed more than one millions times.

Appearing at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Pang agreed to sign a HK$3,000 (US$382) good behavior bond for two years, and has to pay court costs of HK$500 (US$64), HK01 reported.

The court heard that Wahyuni was hired by the defendant’s son last year, and the abuse took place in January and February.

The first instance took place in January when the defendant scolded Wahyuni for “wasting electricity” by using dehumidifiers in winter. Wahyuni was slapped by Pang, but she did not report it to the son.

In February, Pang went into the domestic worker’s room to admonish her again for wasting electricity, but when Wahyuni told Pang’s son about what happened, he brushed it off.

On February 28, Pang went into Wahyuni’s room while she was talking to her friend on Facebook live, and berated her for using her phone and wasting electricity.

That 12 minute-long Facebook live clip appeared online and showed Pang smacking Wahyuni several times across the face and mouth, trying to drag the domestic helper off the bed, and even threatening to kill her.

The case came about shortly after the High Court quashed a legal challenge against the mandatory requirement that maids live with their employers.

Rights activists had argued that the requirement leaves domestic helpers vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

However, Judge Anderson Chow rejected those claims, saying the rule did not violate fundamental rights, and that if maids didn’t like it, they could quit or not come to Hong Kong in the first place.

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