Burglar beat elderly couple to death, court hears

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 3:12am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 3:37am

A burglar beat an elderly couple to death as he tried to snatch cash and belongings from their home, the Court of First Instance heard yesterday.

Prosecutor Diane Crebbin said Tsui Bing-cheung, 82, and Ip Cheng-tai, 75, died from the injuries inflicted by Tse Chi-shing, 53, after he entered their unlocked flat on December 13, 2012.

Tse admits stealing HK$20,000, a wallet, a can of milk powder and some clothing from the couple but denies murdering them, saying he only pushed and slapped them.

But Crebbin said: "Both victims died as a result of being beaten and assaulted by the defendant rather than just being pushed and slapped by him."

Opening the prosecution, Crebbin said medical reports showed Tsui, who was found unconscious on the floor of his flat in Wong Tai Sin, sustained a serious head and brain injury and died two days later.

Ip suffered rib and wrist fractures, severe bruising to her face, a fractured eye socket and a haemorrhage in the tissue around her brain. She died on January 22 last year.

Crebbin said Ip had difficulty in walking and Tsui looked after her.

The couple were in the habit of not locking the metal gate or wooden door of their flat, in the same building as Tse's home but on a lower floor.

About 5pm on the day of the attack, a neighbour heard four loud bangs from the flat.

He went to look and saw Tse pulling a body across the floor.

Tse came out and left, claiming he was going downstairs to wait for the police. The neighbour was suspicious and alerted a security guard.

Police found the badly injured Ip on a bed, too scared to talk properly, and Tsui unconscious on the floor, Crebbin said.

Arrested on December 15, Tse told police he had taken drugs with a friend and then suggested they steal from tenants in the building who had forgotten to lock their homes.

He claimed he had slapped Ip a few times on her face and pushed Tsui against the wall when the husband returned home.

The trial continues before Deputy Judge Alan Wright today.