Woman guilty in church poisoning

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 April, 2008, 12:00am

A mentally ill woman was yesterday convicted of poisoning three young church-goers with drugged pastries.

Jannifer Chan Mei-fung, 37, who had denied three counts of administering poison, was found guilty by District Court Judge Joseph Yau Chi-lap of taking a box of pastries laced with an anti-psychotic drug to a Kwun Tong church last August.

Judge Yau adjourned sentencing to April 30 pending two psychiatric reports on Chan, who has a history of paranoid schizophrenia.

The judge ruled that it could not have been a coincidence that a note in the box of pastries resembled one in Chan's home, which contained a false address and the name 'Lee Ka-yee', used by Chan to prevent people knowing her real identity.

A cleaner at the Kwun Tong Church of Christian and Missionary Alliance, Tsui Hung-ping, testified earlier that she saw Chan arrive at the church on August 11. Chan told the cleaner she had been asked by a church-goer to leave a delivery for the pastors. Ms Tsui refused to accept the delivery and took the woman's false contact details at her request before escorting her from the church.

The court heard the box was, however, picked up from a porch by a staff member and the pastries were shared by six people.

One girl and two boys, aged between 12 and 15, later felt unwell and were admitted to hospital, where they remained for up to a week suffering an overdose of Risperidone, a prescription drug commonly used to treat schizophrenia.

Police later located Chan's home and seized six anti-psychotic pills prescribed to the defendant, three of which were Risperidone.

A chemist said Risperidone was found in three of five leftover pastries.