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Mental state of mother in schools row to be probed

Kelly Ip

Friday, November 02, 2012

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A mental assessment has been ordered of a single mother who has refused to let her 14-year-old daughter attend school for the past two years.

Deputy magistrate Cherry Hui Shuk- yee made the order yesterday after a probation report suggested the mental health and emotions of Kung Lai-kwan should be taken into consideration.

However, Hui denied a bail request, saying the girl is in the care of the Po Leung Kuk and Kung, 48, may be treated while in custody for her suspected illness.

Sentencing was adjourned until November 15 and Kung was remanded to the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre pending reports.

Kung was convicted two weeks ago at Kowloon City Court of failing to comply with an Education Bureau attendance order issued in June 2011 to send her daughter to school.

Hui said since Kung disagreed with the background report and refused to provide information to the probation officer, it would have to be redone.

She would also have to consider whether to let her daughter attend a school arranged by the bureau within two weeks.

The court heard the daughter was allocated a place at the Hong Kong and Kowloon Chiu Chow Public Association Secondary School in 2010, but Kung rejected the offer, insisting she be granted a place in a Band One secondary school.

Kung unsuccessfully applied twice to Methodist College, and later applied to the Chan Shu Kui Memorial School but did not let her daughter attend even though she was accepted.

The bureau was notified in September 2010 of the girl's absence.

In court, Kung repeated that the attendance order she received was a forgery. She denied refusing to let her daughter go to school.

"There isn't a minute, a second that I don't think of allowing my daughter to go to school," said Kung, who is not represented by a lawyer.

"My daughter couldn't go to school because of the Social Welfare Department."

A probation officer said Kung, who was previously bailed on Wednesday after an appeal to the High Court, later went to the Po Leung Kuk and tried to collect her daughter.

Kung, who lives in subdivided flat in Yau Ma Tei, ripped up a document that stated her daughter must stay with the kuk.

Kung shouted: "It's unjust. I need to take care of my daughter."


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