Mailed knife 'a gift' to Alan Leong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 November, 2007, 12:00am

A psychiatric patient who mailed cutlery including a table knife to Alan Leong Kah-kit in June said they were 'just small gifts' and that he had sent them after seeing the lawmaker 'looking poor on TV' and asking for donations during his election campaign, a court heard yesterday.

Retired bank employee Lau Shu-wing, 58, who said he had been suffering from mild depression for more than two years, denied his gestures were threats, saying the three letters he sent contained only the items and had no intimidating messages.

'This is the first time I've been arrested over sending small gifts ... I was just sending small gifts to a poor lawmaker on Father's Day,' Lau said in a videotaped interview played in Eastern Court yesterday. 'The knife is for eating, not for violence.'

He pleaded not guilty to three counts of criminal intimidation in connection with the allegation he threatened the lawmaker with the letters addressed to him at the Legislative Council Building in Central.

The lawmaker testified yesterday that his assistant had collected the letters, received on June 17, 18 and 21, with the first one bearing a 20cm table knife, the second a stainless steel fork and the last a plastic spoon.

Mr Leong said he had no recollection of having met the defendant; Lau said he had shaken hands with Mr Leong outside the Legco building before the mailings.

The lawmaker decided to take the matter to the police because he considered the cutlery 'sharp objects' and it was the first time he had received a knife in the mail.

Precautions were taken, especially when the mail was addressed to him and his wife, Mr Leung said.

In the videotaped interview, the defendant admitted he had bought and posted the cutlery to the lawmaker after watching him on TV in a donation campaign for his run for chief executive in March.

The trial continues today before magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing.