Driver who murdered ex-lover jailed for life

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2011, 12:00am

A driver who murdered his former girlfriend and dumped her body at the bottom of a water catchment was jailed for life yesterday.

Li Hiu-wai, 39, denied the murder of Chan Ka-yan, 22, and admitted manslaughter.

But the prosecution refused to accept his plea and a jury unanimously found him guilty of murder after five hours of deliberation at the Court of First Instance.

The court heard that Li led police to where he left Chan's body in Ngau Tam Mei.

She was naked, with all her fingers cut off. Her face was slashed and the top of one of her ears was cut. She also had a paper gag in her throat.

A pathologist said the cause of death was asphyxiation, possibly involving manual strangulation.

Jailing him, Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling said Li had destroyed not only Chan's family but his own family too. Li married a Thai national in 2003 and has a son, now four years old.

'Your wife must now care for your son, and your son will grow up without knowing his father,' the judge said.

For reasons known only to Li, he 'snuffed out the life' of Chan, the judge continued.

Not only did he kill her, but he damaged her corpse.

She added: 'You took away a daughter from Chan's parents.

'We can only imagine the pain suffered in losing a daughter in such conditions.'

The court heard Li had lived with Chan - who he called 'wifey' - for a time before she left him and started dating another man.

In January 2009, Chan left her new boyfriend's home and was not seen again. She was reported missing by her mother.

Li was born on the mainland. At the time of the offence, he was a driver with the Aviation Security Company at Hong Kong airport.