Jail cauldron for sex-assault fireman

Local | Mandy Zheng 26 May 2020

A principal fireman has been sentenced to eight months and two weeks in prison for sexually assaulting two female subordinates nine times.

Chan Yiu-hong, 52, was convicted of six counts of indecent assault and three counts of common assault in Kowloon City courts yesterday.

Magistrate Amy Chan Wai-mun condemned Chan's conduct as "reckless and gradually aggravating," adding that it was shocking he dared to commit some of the crimes while other colleagues were present.

"The defendant showed no intention of restraining his behavior and even assaulted the victims repeatedly and more seriously he was audacious in the extreme," she said.

From August 2018 to last March, Chan assaulted the two senior firefighters at Fire Services Headquarters, thrice at fire stations and once in a fire truck, during which he pinched one victim's thigh, touched her waist and rubbed her butt.

Eight incidents happened to the same victim, alias X, with one being caught on CCTV when Chan touched X's jaw and hair, causing her to flinch.

Chan claimed he was trying to remove dust from her face, an argument the court deemed to be "nothing but a pile of lies."

Chan also questioned why X never filed a complaint against him if she was indeed harassed so many times.

Amy Chan said X had testified she did not want to make any enemies, saying X "wishes to do this job for life" and "I understand [X's] concern, as I believe she and Chan were friends."

According to X, she had worried about other male colleagues judging her and did not wish to feel awkward when facing Chan.

She eventually called in the police on the advice of another superior.

As for victim Y, she once complained about Chan's behavior to a female colleague via voice messages.

Chan contended that Y was making a false accusation in order to see if he and that colleague had any suspicious relationship, but the court was unconvinced.

"I believe if X and Y had not experienced these things, they would not be able to describe them in detail in such a reasonable way," Amy Chan said.

She said Chan received a harsh sentence based on his role as a civil servant who assaulted his subordinates several times.

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