Elderly woman almost suffocated in house attack

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 April, 2014, 6:39pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 April, 2014, 4:45am

A businessman was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder yesterday after an attack that left his 67-year-old mother-in-law fighting for her life.

The woman fell into a coma after her mouth and nose were covered with a towel soaked in paint thinner at the family home in Lai Chi Kok yesterday, according to police. Detectives believe there had been a row over money.

Chief Inspector Wallace Lee Che-hung of the Sham Shui Po district crime squad said the victim was resuscitated in hospital.

Last night, she was in critical condition in Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung.

The attack was discovered just before 3pm when the 37-year-old businessman called police to the fifth-floor flat at the Mei Foo Sun Chuen estate, Humbert Street.

"The victim was attacked after refusing to lend HK$1 million," a police source said. "She was smothered with a towel soaked in paint thinner."

Officers later arrested the son-in-law, who is understood to have financial difficulties.

The suspect's wife, also aged 37, and their six-year-old child were not home at the time of the incident, nor was the family's domestic helper.

The businessman was taken, hooded and handcuffed, to Cheung Sha Wan police station at about 4pm.

Officers seized a bottle of paint thinner, towels, a cigarette lighter and three suicide notes.

Last night, the suspect was being held for questioning and had not been charged.