Negligence and lax oversight by the Taichung City Government and the Sports Administration led to the death of a seven-year-old boy last year, the Control Yuan said yesterday.
Control Yuan member Yeh Ta-hua (葉大華), who headed the probe into the death of the boy after he was slammed to the floor multiple times by judo instructor Ho Tsung-le (何聰樂), said the city government failed to supervise the rental of public sports facilities, and the Sports Administration failed to properly manage the facilities and enforce training regulations.
Yeh said that officials failed to set up measures to protect children against injuries and neglected the enforcement of coaching certification rules, as they did not check the judo instructor’s qualifications.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Ho’s actions breached the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Taiwan adopted in April 2016, Yeh said.
Ho, 69, had no judo teaching qualification, or any other judo-related certification, but gave judo lessons to children at the Taichung Judo Hall, which the city government rents to a local judo association for classes.
The boy had been in a coma for more than two months when he died from severe head injuries on June 29 last year.
His parents at the time said that Ho “deliberately killed a helpless child.”
They said Ho tried to deflect his responsibility, citing him as initially telling prosecutors that the boy got injured when he deliberately ran into a wall multiple times.
Prosecutors later indicted Ho on charges including physical assault resulting in serious injury and breaches of the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法).
The parents in January filed a civil lawsuit seeking a total of NT$18 million (US$632,556 at the current exchange rate) in compensation from Ho, as well as from the Taichung Municipal Sports Federation and the Taichung Judo Committee, which manage programs for children at the Taichung Judo Hall.
“Right after the incident, city government and Sports Association officials blamed it on Ho’s personal behavior,” Yeh said. “They tried to shift the blame.”
However, they were responsible for overseeing programs at the judo facility conducted by external coaches, Yeh added.
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