Killer dumped lover's body at Yuen Long reservoir, court hears

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 February, 2011, 12:00am

A man strangled his former girlfriend, put her body in rubbish bags and dumped it at a reservoir just before Lunar New Year two years ago, a court heard yesterday.

Li Hiu-wai, 39, married with a son, killed Chan Ka-yan, 22, whom he used to call 'wifey', on January 21, 2009, the Court of First Instance heard.

Li told police he killed Chan because she had provoked him, the court heard. He said Chan had scratched his neck in a quarrel, prompting him to grab her neck and strangle her.

Li has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter, which the prosecution does not accept.

Prosecutor Tam Sze-lok said Chan's mother had reported her missing after she lost touch with her daughter a few days before Lunar New Year.

He said that after Li was arrested he had confessed that he had killed Chan somewhere in Tsing Yi.

Li said that he had put her body into large rubbish bags and caught a taxi to the service reservoir in Ngau Tam Mei, Yuen Long, where he had dumped it.

The prosecution does not accept Li was provoked into killing Chan. Tam said Li had used a new, prepaid phone card to contact the victim on the day of the killing and had thrown his phone and the card away afterwards.

He also had asked to borrow a car before the killing, saying that he wanted it to transport 'something'.

Tam said that a plastic strap had been found next to Chan's body and that three rubbish bags of the same type as the ones used to wrap the corpse had been found in Li's locker at the office of his employer, the Aviation Security Company, at the airport. Li worked as a driver at the company.

'All of these point to a premeditated state of mind,' Tam said.

'[Li] set out to kill [the victim] that day whatever [she] might or might not have done in the encounter between the two of them. He was determined to kill her.'

Ma Ka-ming, a colleague of Li's, told the court that a day or two before the killing Li had phoned him wanting to borrow a car to transport something on the day of the killing.

It was the first time Li had asked to borrow a car, Ma said.

On the morning of January 21, Li told Ma that he no longer needed the car because he had borrowed one from someone else.

Ma said he had met Li at 1.45pm at the Airport Authority Building on the day of the killing. He had not noticed anything unusual about Li's neck then, but when they met again late that evening he had seen two bandages on it.

A calm and normal Li had told Ma he had been injured in a fall.

Li then drove Ma to Tung Chung MTR station and on the way asked Ma the quickest way to drive to Yuen Long. Ma said he had seen a bucket and a box on the back seat.

The trial continues before Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling.