Kwun Tong Magistrates' Court in Kowloon. Photo: Google Maps

A Filipina domestic worker accused of assaulting her 3-year-old ward may be allowed to settle her case by way of a bind-over.

According to a legal definition, a person who is bound over can be required to refrain from certain activities for a stipulated period, to be of good behavior or to comply with other conditions. When binding a person over, a magistrate will usually stipulate a conditional financial penalty or fine to be paid if the person later breaches the binding over order.

Marlyn dela Cruz was charged with one count of willful assault against her employer’s three-year-old child in a Tseung Kwan O apartment in the New Territories on February 5, sunwebhk.com reported.

She was arrested after her employer reviewed surveillance camera footage and discovered the defendant allegedly jabbed a spoon into the mouth of the young ward to force the child to eat.

Dela Cruz’s job had been terminated by her employer and she now stays at the Consulate’s shelter. She applied for a bound-over settlement and the prosecutor sought a four-week adjournment of the hearing pending the Justice Department’s decision.

The magistrate at the Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Court adjourned the case until May 24 and approved the defendant’s application for bail.

Under Section 27 of the Offenses Against the Person Ordinance, it is an offense for someone taking care of a child under 16 years of age to commit an act likely to cause the young person unnecessary suffering or injury to health.

The words “unnecessary suffering or injury to health” include an injury that leads to a loss of sight or hearing, injury to a limb or organ of the body or mental derangement.

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