A 17-year-old mom was arrested yesterday for leaving her 5-month-old twin boys unattended in a village house near the Hong Kong-China border while she went in search of her video game-obsessed husband.
The alarm was raised by the twins’ 50-year-old grandma at around 10am yesterday morning, after their mom contacted her mother-in-law to let her know she was going across the border to find her husband, Apple Daily reports.
The mom, a Chaozhou native surnamed Yang, gave birth to the twins after marrying a 21-year-old Hongkonger surnamed Shum last year.
The family — the couple, the twins, and the grandma — live together in a village house in Tung Chan Wai on the San Tin section of Castle Peak Road, which is near the Lok Ma Chau control point on the border with mainland China.
The newspaper reported that Shum — a decorator who is obsessed with video games — regularly goes across the border to play in Shenzhen’s gaming cafes.
At around 2am on Tuesday, the husband still had not returned from the mainland, so Yang asked her mother-in-law if she could look after the twins so that she could cross the border to find her husband.
The mother-in-law said she couldn’t babysit as she has to go to work.
But at around 7am yesterday, Yang sent a message to her mother-in-law to let her know that she had to find her husband and had crossed the border, prompting the mother-in-law to run home, abandoning the vegetable stall she works at, to find the twin boys on their own.
She told Apple Daily that the twins had been on their own for at least an hour when she arrived. She called the police after her messages and phone calls to her daughter-in-law went unanswered.
Yang returned to Hong Kong yesterday afternoon at around 2pm after learning that she was in trouble. She was arrested on suspicion of child cruelty, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.
The twins were taken to North District Hospital in Sheung Shui for a check-up, but no injuries were found, and a spokesperson from the Social Welfare Department told the newspaper that social workers have been in touch with the family.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong Police are winning at the internet game with this adorable snap of two police officers holding the twins at the hospital.