Man threw corrosive liquid on wife and son after being asked for divorce, court told

Sentencing adjourned for reports on the 56-year-old, who admitted causing grievous injury, leaving his wife with burns to 38 per cent of her body and her son with 26 per cent burns

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 April, 2014, 4:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 April, 2014, 5:27pm

An unemployed man, whose wife had asked him for a divorce, poured corrosive liquid on her and their son – as he tried to protect her – during a bitter row in the family home, the Court of First Instance was told today.

Chan Sau-to, 46, suffered burns to 38 per cent of her body, including her head, neck, chest and arms, while her son, Lau Kin-hung, 21, suffered burns to 26 per cent of his body.

Lau Chung-tim, 56, pleaded guilty to one charge of throwing corrosive liquid with intent to cause grievous injury to others in Sai Pin Wai, Yuen Long, last June 18.

Deputy judge Clare Marie Beeson adjourned sentencing until July 10 and asked for a medical report to be prepared into Lau’s condition, and for updates on the injuries of the victims.

Both victims had to undergo months of treatment in hospital, including skin grafts. Chan has scars on her back and front, and her son was left with injuries to his eyes and scars on his face.

Prosecutor Harish Hariram Melwaney told the court Lau went to the family home after his wife had requested a divorce to ask her to return his mobile phone.

However, he became upset when she told him to hand over his door key and picked up a ceramic knife and began pointing it at her.

After Chan ignored him and walked away, he went after her, but was blocked by their son.

Melwaney said it was then that Lau took out a bottle of corrosive liquid and poured it over his wife’s chest. He also threw the liquid at his son, dressed only in his underpants, who was trying to protect his mother.

Both Chan and her son rushed into the bathroom to try to wash off the corrosive liquid. Lau picked up the knife and chased them after they fled the house.

When Lau caught up with them, he asked his wife to cut him with the knife. He struggled with his son while his wife managed to escape. Then, after his son pretended to faint, Lau fled the scene.

A passer-by saw the two injured victims and called the police, who arrested Lau later that day.

Lau told the police he believed his wife was trying to get as much money as she could from him after asking for a divorce.

He said he became upset when she had asked him for his door key, because he felt his wife was trying to take away all his possessions.