The High Court in Hong Kong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A 35-year-old man who threatened to make his daughter, then eight years old, drink rat poison was sentenced at the Hong Kong High Court on Wednesday to two years in jail.

Justice Maggie Poon Man-key said the defendant, who pleaded guilty earlier to willfully assaulting a child, had behaved impulsively and irresponsibly, Apple Daily reported.

The court heard earlier that in February last year, the defendant came home drunk to his village house in Tuen Mun. He threatened to force his daughter to drink rat poison but his sister saw what was happening and stopped him.

The man then threatened to kill his daughter by grabbing the girl’s neck. Police later arrived and arrested the man.

Poon said threatening children was condemned by society as one of the most dreadful crimes, and the maximum penalty was 10 years in prison. However, she said that apart from evaluating the demands of the justice system and expectations of the community at large, the court also had to look at what would be best for the victim and the family.

Taking into account that his daughter, who turned 10 this week, did not suffer permanent injury and acknowledging that according to a mental-health report the defendant had acted out of character, and that his wife and daughter had written to the court asking for leniency, the court sentenced him two years in jail.

The judge warned the defendant that alcohol is a “solvent” that could dissolve families and careers if misused.

Read: Guilty plea to threatening daughter with rat poison