Pupil wrote blog before death leap
Shortly before he committed suicide, a mentally disturbed high school student poured out his inner pain and anger in a 5,000-word internet blog. Wong Ling-fung, a Form Four pupil at Tung Chung Catholic School, jumped to his death on an outdoor playground there on May 24 last year as his schoolmates and teachers were gathering for morning assembly.
The inquest into his death, on its second day yesterday, heard that the Web posting was uploaded about 45 minutes before his death.
In the posting, Wong said he had once been scolded by a teacher because he forgot to pay an air conditioning fee. 'She asked whether my family was problematic,' he said in the posting, which was read out at the inquest. 'I will never forget this sentence my whole life.
'What have I done wrong? Is this one-time mistake so serious?'
Wong's posting implied that he had no choice but to commit suicide. Referring to two months he spent in Kwai Chung Hospital's mental ward in 2008, he wrote: 'When I woke up [in the hospital], I finally understood what I was and I knew what I should do in future.' He had been admitted to the mental ward because of suicidal tendencies.
'When I was in Primary Four,' he wrote, 'I understood that my relationship with the world was special.
'I could feel the voices and thoughts of the world. I can only hide myself because people think this is not normal.'
Seventeen days before his death, he was punished by his school for publicly criticising a teacher. He was given a demerit and was banned from classes for several days.
The school's social worker, Lai Ka-yan, told the inquest she had sent a letter to the hospital in February seeking help with the youngster.
Doctors told yesterday's hearing that Wong's medical dosage had been lowered after his situation improved in March, two months before his death.
In the posting the youngster had described himself as 'God' and a 'fox', but the doctors said the blog did not support a conclusion that Wong's mental status had deteriorated before his death.
The doctors said Wong showed signs of improvement two months before his death, so the hospital allowed him to reduce his dosage.
Wong's parents were emotional yesterday, sobbing when the school's CCTV footage, taken moments before his death, was shown.
Senior psychiatrist Chung Kit-keung of the hospital said that although Wong had posted grievances online, it was hard to conclude he was out of control.
'Many youngsters do not make sense on the internet, but it doesn't mean that they don't make sense in reality,' he said.
He insisted that Wong was given proper treatment after his release from hospital in early 2009.
Solicitor Albert Ho Chun-yan, representing Wong's family, said that Wong's school had failed to get a psychiatrist from the hospital to follow up on his case despite signs that his condition was getting worse.
The inquest continues today.