Guard chopped to death

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 February, 2012, 12:00am


HONG KONG - A psychiatric patient is believed to have slashed a security guard to death in Sheung Shui only three hours after visiting a public hospital. The killing raises fears the current medical system is failing to identify and care for the mentally ill.

The suspect, surnamed Wong, 53, allegedly attacked Lee Kai-kwong, 57, with a chopper at his guard post in Choi Wah House at 7.30am. The victim tried to run, but failed to escape. He died at the scene.

Wong's family called police after he reportedly returned home covered in bloodstains and left a trail of bloody footprints.

Earlier, he had visited the North District Hospital to seek treatment for a chest infection. A Hospital Authority statement said he was emotionally stable and his conversation was normal.

Wong is a psychiatric outpatient at the hospital and required regular treatment. Police said he had also been involved in six reported domestic disputes, some involving violence, over the past two years. But there was no known grudge between Wong and Lee.

Lawmaker Wong Sing-chi said such tragedies could be prevented

if doctors had noticed the suspect's condition during the consultation.

'I think communication between governmental departments are lacking,' he said. 'The police, social welfare, housing and medical should exchange records of patients with severe mental problems confidentially - thus avoiding labelling effects and discrimination.'

Wong Sing-chi said he feared that hospitals were understaffed, which had affected doctors' performances.

Dr Cheung Wai-lun of the Hospital Authority told RTHK on Monday that there was no quick solution to the staff shortages, but recruitment levels were expected to rise in the next few years.