Woman with mental age of toddler ‘not fit to enter plea’ in eye-gouging case

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.

An elderly Hong Kong woman accused of gouging out her sister’s eye last month has the mental age of a toddler and is unfit to enter a plea, a court heard yesterday.

Two experts from the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre made the statement at Eastern Magistrates Court yesterday, weeks after defendant Ma Wai-king, 59, first appeared in court charged with one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm on her eldest sister.

Ma reportedly assaulted her bedridden sister, Ma Wai-kuen, 66, on April 30. Wai-king is the youngest of three sisters who lived together in an apartment in Tai Hang, where the incident took place.

The two experts concluded that Ma has the mental age of a 21-month-old child, and recommended detaining her in hospital for six months, Ming Pao reports.

Prosecutors said the eldest sister’s condition was serious, as she was still in hospital after undergoing emergency surgery to her eye, and had been transferred to the psychiatric ward for treatment following the traumatic ordeal.

Apple Daily reports that the defendant sat in a wheelchair for her hearing, guarded by police officers, and that she made loud noises throughout the proceedings.

The court also heard from the defendant’s second-eldest sister, Ma Wai-cheong, 64, who tearfully told the court: “I hope this all ends soon. It’s been very tough, like torture.”

Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen urged the prosecution to decide how best to proceed with the case and to consider alternative methods to prove their case if they ask for a hospital order.

Law also suggested that the victim should submit a statement instead of having to recount the painful experience in court.

He adjourned the case until Thursday, May 23. The defendant was remanded in custody.

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