Woman dies after husband's cries ignored

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 April, 2008, 12:00am

Passers-by ignored a man's cries for help after he found his wife battered in an alley in Tsuen Wan on Thursday night. Luk Yuk-kuen, 41, was later declared dead at the scene.

To Yin-chan, 40, said his pleas went unheeded when he tried to get help for his wife, who was unconscious with head injuries in Tak Wah Street. He could not call police because he had only recently arrived in Hong Kong with his son from the mainland and did not know how to describe the location.

Mr To and his 12-year-old son managed to alert officers, but she died by the time paramedics arrived.

Police said Luk had screamed her son's name as she was attacked in the alley behind the building where they lived, but no one came to help. He was taking a bath and shouted to his father to go and check, police said.

Shopkeepers told officers they had heard a commotion but did not bother to go and check because there were always fights in the area.

Investigators believe Luk either was dragged into the alley or ran there in an attempt to escape her attacker.

Her handbag was open and her belongings were scattered on the ground. A bloodstained hammer believed to have been used as the weapon was found at the scene.

Luk had been carrying HK$3,000, which her husband had given her to cover family expenses, and she had gone out at about 10pm to buy fruit. The money had been taken.

A woman who said she had lived in the area for more than five years said the nearby Tak Wah Park was known for being a gathering place for drug addicts and gangsters. She said she had been warned by long-term residents not to go out late at night.

Senior Superintendent Patrick Chan Kwok-keung, head of the New Territories North crime unit, said: 'It's possible that the victim was killed as a robbery went wrong. We are keeping an open mind.

'It's a brutal attack, as the woman suffered several blows to her head in the incident.'

Luk had worked for the chain restaurant Satay King for more than four years, earning less than HK$7,000 a month. Her elder sister also works there. Her husband had a job at a furniture company, making about HK$7,300.

A female work colleague of Luk said she had been a hard-working, helpful and kind person.

'She had been looking forward to the family reunion for several years. She reunited with her son and husband about a month ago and they moved into a new home during the Ching Ming Festival. But she was killed. It's a tragedy.'

Mr To, his son, and siblings of the dead woman returned to the murder site yesterday to leave offerings.

Police statistics show there were seven reports of robbery in Tsuen Wan in the first three months of this year. Twelve robberies were reported in the same period last year.

There were 14 homicide cases in Hong Kong in the first three months of this year, up from three in the same period last year.