Vet guilty of syringe attack

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 2011, 12:00am


A veterinarian was yesterday found guilty of beating his ex-girlfriend and threatening to inject her with a drug used for euthanising animals.

Tsoi Sheung-ki, 37, was remanded in custody after he was convicted in the District Court of assault, false imprisonment and criminal intimidation of his former live-in girlfriend, Vanessa Chu Man-wah, 29, following incidents at his Ma On Shan clinic on August 13 and 14 last year.

The court ruled that Tsoi had committed the crimes out of jealousy after he found photos on Facebook of Chu posing with men who had taken her out for meals.

Handing down the guilty verdict, Judge Anthea Pang Po-kam called Tsoi a 'complete liar' for fabricating evidence. She rejected Tsoi's claim that it was Chu who had lost control after he had told her he would not marry her after seeing the photos.

The judge also rejected Tsoi's claim that Chu had made a false report to police, to 'beat him to the punch' after he found money missing from their joint bank account.

She ruled that the prosecution had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the pink liquid which Tsoi had threatened to inject into Chu was pentobarbital sodium - a drug used for euthanising animals. However, even if the liquid was not the drug it was a terrifying enough experience to warrant the conviction of criminal intimidation, she said.

Sentencing was adjourned to October 24, pending a background report on Tsoi.

The court heard earlier that Tsoi had a relationship with Chu since December 2009. Their confrontation took place on August 13 last year at Tsoi's Sai Sha Road Animal Hospital, Ma On Shan, where Chu also worked. During the fight Tsoi held Chu by the neck. When Chu tried to escape, he forced her into a surgery where he took out a syringe filled with a pink liquid. Wielding the syringe, Tsoi looked for blood vessels on Chu's leg.

He told her: 'I love you very much. I can't accept that you treated me like this. I really want to die. Let's die together. I have already thought about how to kill ourselves.'

Chu said in reply: 'Kill me with one jab. Don't leave me half-dead.'

Chu later pretended to sleep in the clinic, after Tsoi had given up his plan to inject her with the drug. When Tsoi was away, she rushed out of the building and took a taxi home. She reported the matter to police after telling a male friend about the incident.

Tsoi told the court that he had been planning to break up with Chu and intended to reconcile with his former girlfriend, with whom he had a seven-year-old son. The judge rejected the claim, pointing out that Tsoi had created the joint bank account with Chu only a month before the incident and that they had just travelled to Japan together.

The court heard that Tsoi held a bachelor's degree in veterinary science from the University of Sydney with first class honours. He married his former girlfriend after he was arrested on August 15.

In mitigation, Alan Ng Man-sang, Tsoi's barrister, submitted letters from members of animal concern groups which described Tsoi as a caring vet and a kind volunteer.