KEY POINTS

  • The 5-year-old girl died on Jan. 6, 2018
  • The victim's 8-year-old sibling testified in court on Monday
  • He detailed his sister's suffering the night before her death
  • The children were made to believe that the punishments were games

A court in Hong Kong heard on Monday that a father, who has been accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter, threw the girl at the ceiling 18 times the night before she passed away. It was a punishment for "walking slowly," the girl's sibling said.

In a video testimony, the girl's surviving 8-year-old brother recounted the events that led to her sister's tragic death on Jan. 6, 2018, reported South China Morning Post. The boy also shared that on the same night, her sister had been made to sleep on the floor without a jacket or a sleeping bag. 

The two children's 29-year-old father and 30-year-old stepmother are currently facing murder charges for the death of the girl, who was found with more than 130 injuries on her body. The court heard that the serious blood infection, which ultimately caused the girl's demise, had been indirectly caused by the assault, ill-treatment and neglect the child experienced at the hands of her father and stepmother.

The couple has denied the murder charges, according to a report from The Star. However, they admitted to the charges of child abuse against the deceased victim and her 8-year-old sibling. The accused and the victims remain unnamed following a gag order from the court.

According to the boy, he witnessed his father throwing his sibling upward 18 times, with her head "gently" hitting the ceiling. The children were made to believe that the act was a game called "flying high."

The boy also recounted that their step-mother had joined in the so-called game that involved swinging his sister's body back and forth in an attempt to scare her and teach her a lesson for being slow and disobedient. The boy said that he too had experienced the same punishment that night after his stepmother suggested it to his father.

"It was very horrifying," he said. "When I was in the air, it felt like I was falling from an aeroplane," he added.

teddy-bear-440498_640 (2) The victim's 8-year-old boy told the court that his father punched, slapped and even poked his chest with a pair of scissors as punishment. Photo: pixabay

The couple often hit the two children with "very thick and long" canes for being naughty or for telling lies, the boy told the court. The girl was physically punished from the age of 3 and was beaten with a cane 30 to 50 times per session.

The investigators found that the father had punished the boy for telling lies by punching him, slapping him with the back of a slipper and poking his chest with a pair of scissors. The boy tried to hold back his tears during the ordeal as he believed that "boys were not supposed to cry," and his father did not like it either. He also did not attempt to resist the alleged abuse as he was convinced that he deserved it. "I did something wrong. I told lies. I was dishonest," the boy told the investigators.

The couple also denied the children food, bed and sleeping bags as a form of punishment, the investigators learned. The boy even testified that he and his sister had gone without food for days as part of their punishment. "I dreamt that I ate. So I didn't feel hungry," he said.

The parents allegedly denied the children medical care and treated their injuries at home. They also got angry after the boy spoke to his teacher who asked questions after seeing the child limping from an injury.

The children's grandmother was also accused of inflicting corporal punishment and turning a blind eye to the abuse.

"The two children actually lived, figuratively speaking, in hell," the prosecutor told the court during a previous hearing.