A maid from the Philippines who sued her former employer’s companion over slave-like treatment and unpaid wages has returned home after securing a new employment visa.
Lanie Grace Rosareal, 28, left Hong Kong on August 11 after being allowed to apply for a new employment visa, the sunwebhk.com reported.
Rosareal fled the apartment of a couple at The Grandiose estate in Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories in November 2017, claiming she had suffered slave-like treatment.
In statements she made to labor officers and police, Rosareal claimed her employer’s companion, Au Wai-chun, a 63-year-old retired immigration officer, tortured her almost daily from May to November last year.
The elderly woman had reportedly hit her on the head with a knife and a TV remote control, hit her on the arm, scratched her wrists and neck, poked her in the throat with a pair of scissors and made her kneel and bang her head on the floor.
Meanwhile, Au allegedly listed the maid’s faults in a “punishment book” and levied fines for each “infringement.” The list was long and the fines ranged from HK$10 (US$1.27) to hundreds of dollars.
Rosareal’s employer – 65-year-old retired civil servant Leung Shet-ying, reportedly paid the maid’s salary each month, but then would tell her to go to Au to settle her “penalties.”
Rosareal said that as a result, she never had any pay and would just be given HK$100 or HK$200 by Au the few times she was allowed to leave for a few hours on a Sunday.
Au had been convicted in September 2014 of pouring hot water on a Bangladeshi maid and was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay damages of $200,000.
Meanwhile, the SCMP magazine published an interview with Au and Leung on Sunday. In the article, Au denied hurting Rosareal, saying she treated the maid either as a “naughty daughter” or “naughty student” for which she had set up some rules for punishment and rewards.
While admitting she imposed penalties on Rosareal for mistakes, Au claimed she gave back most of the maid’s salary after taking it to pay for the cumulative fines for the month.
However, no record was made in the punishment book that any money had been paid back. Au was arrested on December 11, 2017, and charged with criminal assault and intimidation, but was released on bail.