3rd December 2023 – (Hong Kong) A case of child neglect was uncovered yesterday at Wo Ping House, Lei Cheng Uk Estate in Cheung Sha Wan. Authorities discovered an approximately 7-month-old baby boy left alone in the unit, accompanied only by a male British Shorthair cat. The apartment was filled with a foul odour and in deplorable conditions. Subsequently, the father, a 22-year-old man surnamed Chow, was arrested by law enforcement. The baby was found conscious and later taken to the hospital for examination. Today (3rd December), the unit’s front door ajar with signs of forced entry by the fire department. Inside, the apartment was cluttered with scattered items, including clothes, plastic bottles, and even used diapers and tissues on the floor. The air was tainted with a nauseating smell of cat excrement, making it repulsive.
According to sources, the registered tenants of the unit are two sisters. The younger sister currently resides in a shelter in Fanling, leaving only the elder sister and her 7-month-old son at the address. Due to the unit’s recent months of rental arrears, security guards had made multiple attempts to collect the overdue payments. Yesterday, they visited the unit twice but were unable to locate the tenants. However, they heard the continuous cries of a baby from inside. Peering through the partially open door, the security guards witnessed the baby boy lying unattended in a crib, prompting them to report the incident.
Although the baby boy did not display any visible injuries, he appeared thin and weak. He was subsequently transported to Caritas Medical Centre for medical care. Upon receiving notification, the baby’s mother initially expressed her intention to retrieve the child from the hospital. However, in the end, only the baby’s father appeared on the scene. Additionally, representatives from the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) inspected the condition of the cat in the unit and concluded that it had not been subjected to abuse. Therefore, the SPCA did not remove the cat from the premises.
Neighbours residing on the same floor stated that they were unfamiliar with the family. Although they had long noticed the foul odour emanating from the unit, they had not lodged any complaints with the Housing Department. They also mentioned hearing the cries of a baby, but they had never seen anyone carrying the infant outside. A spokesperson from the Social Welfare Department responded to media inquiries, clarifying that the parents and the baby were not under the department’s social work case management. However, the department would assess their situation and provide appropriate assistance based on their welfare needs.