Accidental killer of father to do 180 hours of community service

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 July, 2011, 12:00am


A man who shook his elderly father because the bedridden man had difficulty passing motion has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service for killing the 76-year-old.

Tse Kam-fai, 38, has since been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Passing sentence yesterday, Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling accepted the son's expression of remorse and took into account his guilty plea in the manslaughter of Tse Kee.

Barnes said manslaughter carried a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and those convicted normally faced long jail terms.

'But that does not mean that someone convicted of manslaughter must be put away for years,' she said in the Court of First Instance.

She noted that the sentencing judge must take into account all the relevant factors. 'This is a tragic case,' she said. 'The defendant was the prime carer of his father for a number of years and by all accounts was doing a good job. There was no evidence of the defendant abusing his father.'

The younger Tse had been his father's main carer since the latter suffered a stroke in 2003, the court heard.

In January 2009, he became fretful and shook his father after the older man was unable to defaecate for several days. He shook his father again the next day in a fit of anger for the same reason, he admitted.

He took his father to hospital when he saw the older man in a poor condition a few days later. Tse Kee went into a coma and died four months later of bronchopneumonia.

The younger Tse had been suffering from mental illness but his condition was not known at the time of the offence, the court heard. He has since been diagnosed with schizophrenia and social paranoia.

The judge had earlier ordered a selection of reports on the defendant, including one on his suitability in performing community service. She handed down the community service order at the sentencing hearing yesterday and imposed a special condition that he receive psychiatric treatment as directed by his probation officer.