Dad who killed tot felt boy was evil

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 February, 2011, 12:00am

A scaffolding worker who has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing his two-month-old son said he thought the baby had an 'evil smile' and that he had punched the baby with 'all my might' on one occasion.

Gurung Hem Kumar, 26, yesterday confirmed the guilty plea he made earlier in the Court of First Instance before Ms Justice Clare-Marie Beeson.

Gurung, who was born and educated in India and who has said his family comes from Nepal, is scheduled to appear again on March 3, pending a psychiatric report.

The court heard that Gurung and his wife took their unconscious baby, Janus, to Ruttonjee Hospital on April 11 last year.

He was transferred to Queen Mary Hospital, where doctors found Janus had no spontaneous respiration. Scans revealed he had a fractured skull and ribs and a torn spleen, senior public prosecutor Vincent Wong Wing-sum said.

The condition of the baby deteriorated, and he died on April 22. The cause of death was a fractured skull and a brain injury.

The court heard that Gurung had told police after his arrest that he had drunk a beer and been tipsy when he went to feed Janus one evening in April.

He 'intended to swing, ie, propel or throw the baby into the cot', Wong said, referring to Gurung's account to police, and the baby's head bumped against a wooden bar of the cot. 'The accused stuck out a foot to try and catch the baby, but the baby fell', the prosecutor said.

Gurung also told police that three days before that incident, he had punched Janus with 'all my might' after getting home drunk because his son had annoyed him with his crying.

The baby stopped crying and had had a pained expression.

'He heard the baby crying from the bedroom and then thumped the baby once, using a hammering motion ... Then he went back to watching television,' Wong said, referring to what Gurung had told police.

'Shortly after, the deceased was crying again. The accused went back and hit him again with the same motion.'

Mahinder Panesar, Gurung's barrister, suggested the court obtain reports on her client. The barrister noted that one of his sisters had psychiatric problems.

Gurung had formed a view that Janus had an evil smile, the barrister said.

Panesar said Gurung had been an ambitious man who had started out as a farmhand, studied, and become a primary school teacher in a small village.

As a young man he had been concerned for the poor around him. 'He was a person who cared for people in similar circumstances,' Panesar said.

Gurung had not been ready for marriage and had been pressured into marrying his wife. When he had arrived in Hong Kong, his in-laws had commanded him to work as a servant.

Panesar said Gurung had discovered that his wife was in love with someone else. Although his wife told him she had sold jewellery given to her by her boyfriend, he found it one day while searching for something.