Mother, 17, arrested after five-month-old twins left unattended in Hong Kong village house

A 17-year-old mother of twin baby boys was arrested in Hong Kong on Tuesday after the infants were found unattended in a village house near a border checkpoint.

Police received a call from the grandmother of the five-month-old boys shortly before 11am. Emergency personnel were sent to the house in Tung Chan Wai on the San Tin section of Castle Peak Road near the Lok Ma Chau control point on the border with mainland China.

According to a police source, the mainland teenager had called her mother-in-law, 50, to say she had to go to Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, to find her husband and asked for help to look after the twins. 

She left home before the mother-in-law arrived, he said. 

No injuries were found on the boys and they were taken to North District Hospital in Sheung Shui for a check-up.

Be a better neighbour, don’t ignore signs of child abuse in Hong Kong

The young mother returned to Hong Kong in the afternoon and went to Lok Ma Chau Police Station, where she was arrested. She was still being held for questioning at 6pm and had not been charged.

A police spokesman said the case was being treated as cruelty to a child. 

In Hong Kong, ill-treatment or neglect of a child carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

In March, two women were arrested for suspected child neglect after leaving their children – a one-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl – unattended in their Fanling village home. 

The case came to light when the girl became hungry and asked a neighbour for food. The two children were unhurt.

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