Son held over fatal hacking of mum

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, 12:00am

Suspect's father may be ex-Beijing official

A mainlander thought to be the son of a retired Beijing official was arrested on suspicion of hacking his wealthy mother to death in his luxury Wan Chai flat.

Zhan Qiuxia, a 62-year-old businesswoman, suffered more than 30 chop wounds to her head during the attack, which police say happened at about 11pm on Monday.

She was found in a pool of blood in one of the bedrooms and declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

The killing in the 27th-floor flat at StarCrest Tower in Star Street was discovered when a security guard making his patrols noticed the door open at 12.40am. He found Zhan unconscious inside.

When officers arrived, the woman's 36-year-old son, surnamed Wang, emerged from the fire exit, according to a police source. 'Blood was found on his hands and legs. He was relatively calm as our officers arrested him,' the source said.

Officers found a bloodstained chopper in another bedroom.

Wang, a senior manager at a Japanese insurance firm in Central, had minor cuts to his fingers. He was treated at Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai and transferred to Castle Peak mental hospital for an examination.

A postmortem examination found that Wang's mother died from multiple chop wounds to her head.

A police investigator said: 'The woman suffered five or six deep chop wounds to the head and there were more than 30 minor chop wounds in the back of the head.'

Officers believe the man has mental problems and they are checking his medical background.

'One of his relatives told officers that the suspect is the son of a retired Beijing official. We are still checking on this,' the same source said.

Zhan, described by police as a well-off woman, had run an import and export company in Hong Kong with her relatives for more than seven years. Her husband is in Beijing.

Her son lived alone in the spacious flat, which is rented by his company for more than HK$40,000 a month. The building is in the middle of the upscale entertainment zone attached to Three Pacific Place, an area dotted with bars and restaurants.

Zhan stayed at the flat sometimes when she visited her son.

Wang's wife and two young children - a son and daughter - are in Shanghai. Wang had worked in Japan before being sent to Hong Kong about 31/2 years ago.

The man had told relatives last year that he was under heavy work stress, according to police.

Investigators were still working on the case last night and no charges had been laid.

It was the third murder in the city in a week. On Friday night, Lo Wai-chun, 78, was killed in a private home for the elderly in Wan Chai. Police arrested a 75-year-old man.

On February 19, a suspected asylum seeker from Bangladesh was bludgeoned to death in a village in Sheung Shui. No one has been arrested.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said yesterday that the government was always concerned about rehabilitation work with patients recovering from mental illness and would provide more resources to help such patients return to the community.