Inmate says wounding was in self-defence

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 January, 2011, 12:00am

A maximum security inmate who dubbed himself 'Osama bin Laden' said a prisoner he was accused of attacking had beaten him previously and held a grudge against him.

Ho Yuk-wun, 51, was testifying about his alleged attack on fellow inmates Mak Siu-wing and Soong Kwok-fai on April 20, 2009, at Shek Pik Prison on Lantau Island.

Ho earlier pleaded not guilty in the District Court to one count of wounding and one of assault. Mak lost 10 per cent of the vision in his left eye after being stabbed with a sharpened toothbrush, and Soong had cuts to his face, waist and limbs.

Ho said several Correctional Services Department officers mistreated him. 'I had been asking the CSD officers to move me to another cell but they never responded,' said Ho, referring to requests made after he was allegedly beaten by Mak and Soong five times in the past few years.

Ho told the court Mak, a senior member of the Sun Yee On triad society, became angry because Ho refused to become Mak's subordinate and won bets against him. Mak's resentment deepened when Ho refused to withdraw a complaint against a prison officer who allegedly helped Mak obtain details of soccer matches and horse races. Their relationship worsened when he reported Mak's gambling to the ICAC.

Ho said that just before the attack, Mak asked him to fetch a newspaper, but he pretended he had not heard.

Mak then took out a sharpened toothbrush and tried to attack him. He said he grabbed the toothbrush and retaliated in self-defence.