Intellectually disabled woman accused of gouging out sister’s eye appears in court

An elderly woman was taken to hospital after having her eye taken out. Screengrab via Apple Daily video.
An elderly woman was taken to hospital after having her eye taken out. Screengrab via Apple Daily video.

A woman with an intellectual disability appeared in court yesterday to face charges stemming from an incident earlier this week in which she allegedly gouged out her sister’s eye.

Ma Wai-king, 59, appeared in Eastern Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm after her elder sister’s left eye was almost completely removed in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The eldest sister, Ma Wai-kuen, 66, is still in hospital and has completely lost eyesight in her left eye. She has also been effectively bedridden since being diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in 2017. also reports that the Ma sisters’ parents passed away in 1987 and 2008, and that the middle sister, Ma Wai-chong, 64, has been looking after both her eldest and youngest sister.

Ma Wai-chong was also in the courtroom yesterday, and told the court that she has been looking after her youngest sister’s needs since she was in primary school.

“She doesn’t understand what she’s done,” Wai-chong t0ld the judge, adding that Ma was unaware she had hurt her eldest sister.

The court heard that Ma Wai-king has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old, and she was unable to respond when the charge was read out. A lawyer from the Duty Lawyer Service also told the court that he was unable to communicate with the defendant and confirm that he would be representing her.

Ming Pao reports that when Ma Wai-king was asked to confirm her name, she simply responded “mm-mm.”

Wai-chong also told the magistrate that when her sister communicates with her, they often use body language, gestures, and simple words. For instance whenever Wai-king says the word “cookie,” that means she’s hungry.

Also present in the courtroom was a Hospital Authority social worker, who confirmed that although the defendant received a disability allowance, she had not been categorized as mentally incapacitated and has never been appointed a legal guardian, and therefore can’t be represented by a proxy, even in simple procedures such as hiring a lawyer.

Prosecutors said the Social Welfare Department would consider appointing a legal guardian for the defendant.

In the meantime, Ma Wai-king was remanded to the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre, where the magistrate also ordered she undergo a psychiatric evaluation to see if she is fit to stand trial.

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