Woman strangles son, 10, then hangs herself

Tragedy strikes family in Taikoo Shing after suicidal woman is discharged from hospital at family's request and despite doctors' advice

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 5:17am

A woman strangled her 10-year-old son before hanging herself at their home in Taikoo Shing yesterday, police said

The apparent murder and suicide happened four days after Louie Miu-man, 47, was discharged from Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan.

She was discharged at her family's request despite medical advice to the contrary, the hospital said. Louie was admitted last month after threatening to kill herself, the second time she had tried to commit suicide at home since September.

Her husband, Yu Yan, 39, discovered the bodies of his wife and son in the third-floor flat of Banyan Mansion in Taikoo Wan Road when he returned home at about 9.30am yesterday.

The couple's only child, Primary Five pupil Yu Yat-kan, was motionless in bed while his mother was hanging in the same bedroom, police said. Paramedics certified the pair as dead.

Police believed the incident occurred between midnight and 3am. A suicide note was found in the flat.

"An initial investigation indicated the woman strangled her son before hanging herself to commit suicide," Chief Inspector Chow Siu-tong of Eastern police district said.

He said strangulation marks were found around Yat-kan's neck. An autopsy will be carried out today to find out whether the boy had also been drugged.

The Social Welfare Department appealed to people with personal or family problems to seek professional help.

Louie's relatives reportedly told police that the woman, a housewife, suffered from mental illness and needed to attend regular medical consultations.

In September, she burned charcoal in an attempt to kill herself through carbon-monoxide poisoning. Medical social workers from the department stepped in with counselling support.

Last month, Louie threatened to hang herself and was sent to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. Her condition improved but doctors advised she should stay longer. However, she was discharged on Friday at her family's request.

Initial investigation showed the couple were separated, Chow said. Yu, a language instructor at the University of Hong Kong's School of Chinese, lives with his mother, also in Taikoo Shing.