Mentally ill man acquitted over brother's death

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 June, 2010, 12:00am

A man who allegedly killed his mentally disabled brother at their flat, and lived with the body for several days before dumping it in the estate's refuse room, walked free yesterday after an autopsy suggested the victim may not have been murdered.

The victim could have died of starvation and a fall after suffering an epileptic seizure, the court heard.

Fung King-yip, 40, who is also mentally ill, was cleared of one count of murder over the death of Fung King-man, 36, at Pak Tin Estate, Sham Shui Po, in January.

Principal Magistrate Anthony Kwok Kai-on accepted the prosecution's application to withdraw the murder charge as it was unable to gather sufficient evidence.

The defendant, who had been remanded in custody since he first appeared in court on January 29, was immediately released.

Senior prosecutor Fu Wai-ling said the autopsy found no food or water in the stomach, suggesting the deceased had not been eating or drinking for a few days before he died, therefore starvation was a possible cause of death. The prosecution could not prove the defendant had intentionally starved his brother.

Fu said the younger Fung also had a medical history of epilepsy and he may have died after falling during a seizure, hitting his head on a hard object and falling into a coma.

The death occurred while the Fungs' 80-year-old grandfather, who had been taking care of the brothers, was admitted to a hospital after being attacked by an unidentified assailant at the flat, the court heard. Fung King-yip had since taken on the responsibility to care for his brother.

On January 26, a neighbour found the decaying body wrapped in a blanket in the refuse room. Police followed a blood trail to Fung King-yip, whom they arrested after a brief stand-off. He told police that he did not know his brother was dead and denied having moved his body.