Wed, July 04, 2012
Lifestyle > Society

Teacher sorry for throwing girl into water

2012-07-04 03:07:49 GMT2012-07-04 11:07:49(Beijing Time)  China Daily

A foreign teacher who threw a 5-year-old girl into shallow water at a swimming pool on Sunday has apologized to her parents and will go back to his country this month.

Phillip Westwood, a 62-year old from New Zealand, was at the pool in Jinan, capital of Shandong province, when he lifted the girl from the swimming pool where she was playing near him and threw her. Surveillance footage shows a man standing nearby saving the girl. 

"My girl was thrown so hard that she almost touched the bottom. The swimming zone where she played is about 1.4 meters deep. How could he treat a child like that?"the girl's mother identified only as Tian said. 

Tian said her daughter was so frightened that she called out for her mother when she was asleep. 

When other swimmers, including the girl's mother and grandmother, criticized Westwood for his behavior he argued back and attempted to hit them but was stopped, the local public security bureau said on Monday.

The authority of Shandong University of Finance and Economics, where Westwood had worked since 2004, said his contract expired in August and would not be renewed. 

Zhang Jianyong, an publicity official at the university said his status as a foreign expert had been canceled before this incident. 

"His physical condition does not allowed him to work in the university," Zhang told China Daily on Tuesday.

Westwood had an operation in February and planned to return home in July before his contract expired.

"He and his wife have apologized to the family and gave them 20,000 yuan ($3,148) as compensation on Monday," Zhang said, adding that Westwood told the university to turn down all interviews because of his poor health and preparing for his trip back to New Zealand.

Tian told China Daily she has received the compensation, but said: "I don't want any money from him but hope he can be given deserved punishment, for example, holding him in custody for several days, so that he will learn to be polite."

But local police told her that he will not be placed in custody, since the girl were no significantly injured.

Several cases of misbehavior involving foreigners in China have made headlines in recent months, prompting public anger.

Oleg Vedernikov, a Russian cellist with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, was filmed while allegedly verbally assaulting a woman on a train on May 14, and a British man allegedly sexually assaulted a Chinese woman in public in Beijing on May 8.

Related:

Foreigner slammed for throwing a 5-yr-old girl into swimming pool

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