A Hong Kong employer questioned a judge at Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Monday why his Filipina domestic worker was facing charges of breaching the conditions of her stay by managing a guesthouse in Hong Kong. He said that should be his mistake – not wrongdoing by the worker.

Employer Tse Wing-leung and his Filipina domestic worker, Pamela Mae Soriano, both pleaded not guilty to a charge of operating a guesthouse in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, sunwebhk.com.hk reported.

Prosecutors filed two counts of breaching the conditions of stay and one count of managing a guesthouse without a license against the domestic worker.

But Tse, who owns the guesthouse, was only charged with managing it without a license.

After asking the magistrate for 30 seconds to make a statement, Tse launched an impassioned appeal for Soriano. “I made the mistake here, but they charged her,” Tse said, referring to Soriano.

“She is only my employee. I have the responsibility over Pamela. You can charge me, you can brand me, you can even punish me. But never charge Pamela because she is stressed,” the employer said in fluent English.

He said the helper’s father passed away recently and she had been left to provide for her mother and a 5-year-old daughter.

But Judge Peter Law stopped him, warning Tse that since the case would go to trial, he had better discuss his views with his lawyer.

The judge also warned that the worker has a lawyer and Tse should be careful about saying something that is not right or may even damage her situation.

The judge adjourned the trial till next month.