'Fighter' acquitted of manslaughter

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 12:00am

An elderly man accused of killing a 76-year-old man in a fight outside a bank branch was found not guilty of manslaughter yesterday.

Chu Ming-sum, 66, had been on trial over the death of Wong Gin-chuen after an altercation between the two outside an HSBC branch in Shamshuipo in mid-April last year.

The two had been arguing inside the branch and Wong had challenged Mr Chu to step outside and fight him. Wong was next seen lying on the ground outside. He was taken to hospital, but died a month later from head injuries.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Chu had, during their struggle, punched Wong in the head, causing him to fall and sustain head injuries. Prosecutor Anna Lai Yuen-kee said Chu's actions had been excessive and that he could have easily avoided the situation.

But Eric Kwok Tung-ming SC, for the defence, said his client had acted in self-defence. Mr Chu had admitted pushing Wong, but strenuously denied punching him.

'It was a pre-emptive strike because [Mr Chu] believed ... [Wong] was about to hit him,' he said.

Mr Kwok also noted in his summing up that no one had seen the alleged punch take place and that the prosecution was asking the jury to believe from the injuries that the punch had hit Wong around his right eye.

The jury found Mr Chu not guilty by a majority of five to two after almost a day of deliberations.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Gareth Lugar-Mawson immediately freed Mr Chu and awarded costs to the defence.