Survivor breaks long public silence in calm, clear voice

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 March, 2007, 12:00am

Wearing a black suit, light yellow shirt and blue tie, shoot-out survivor Sin Ka-keung was in the public eye again yesterday - almost exactly a year after he escaped death - as he spoke of the horrifying moments in a Tsim Sha Tsui underpass on March 17 last year.

It was only the third time he had appeared in public since the shoot-out, which left him with injuries to his face and left leg, and the first time he had spoken about it.

Mr Sin, nicknamed Garfield, was in hospital for more than two months, being discharged on May 26 last year.

As he left the hospital he muttered in response to questions: 'I do not want to talk much.'

The other time he appeared was during the funeral of his patrol partner, Constable Tsang Kwok-hang. He remained calm throughout the service but did not say a word.

Giving evidence in the Coroner's Court yesterday, the 29-year-old constable's first words were: 'I joined the police force on December 19, 1994.'

Throughout the hearing, he spoke slowly as he recalled what happened during the early hours of last March 17.

Although he appeared to be walking with a slight limp, Mr Sin stayed standing for at least half an hour to show Coroner Michael Chan Pik-kiu and the jury details of the fatal encounter with the help of a map and two models of the underpass.

Although he coughed and rubbed his hand occasionally, he sounded clear and fluent as he revealed the shoot-out details.

He made gestures to show how he held his revolver with both hands and put his hands to his waist as he tried to illustrate what the man he encountered in the underpass looked like.

Mr Sin's appearance drew heavy attention from the media and the court was packed 15 minutes before the hearing started at 9.30am.

It prompted the reopening of Court No 14 - closed since the second week of the hearing - to provide an audio feed from the jammed Court No 15 next door.

The feed had a one- to two-minutes time lapse. The judiciary explained that the broadcast of proceedings was through a court digital recording system and they would look into the matter.

Sin Ka-keung gives evidence yesterday, indicating his patrol route on March 17.