Elderly couple’s ‘heads found in fridge after they were killed by their own son and cooked'
Henry Chau Hoi-leung had offered to plead guilty to the manslaughter of his parents and admitted dismembering their bodies, court hears as murder trial opens
An elderly couple allegedly murdered by their son and his friend were dismembered, salted and cooked after being killed, the Court of First Instance heard yesterday.
Prosecutor Michael Arthur said that Henry Chau Hoi-leung, 30, and his friend Tse Chun-kei, 36, had planned the murders for more than three months, buying knives, refrigerators, microwave ovens and a rice cooker.
Chau told police after his arrest that he and Tse killed Chau Wing-ki, 65, and his wife Siu Yuet-yee, 62, on March 1 last year because "they felt ready", the court heard. Their heads and organs were discovered in two refrigerators on March 15, while their dismembered bodies were salted and packed into lunchboxes.
Henry Chau and Tse both denied two counts of murder in court yesterday.
Chau Wing-ki and Siu were recorded by closed-circuit television on March 1 last year entering a building in Tai Kok Tsui with Henry Chau, the prosecution said. It was the last time the couple were seen alive.
Henry Chau left the building alone some 20 minutes later. He went to a hospital to seek treatment for some cut wounds on his hands, which the prosecution alleged he sustained while struggling with his father.
The court heard that Henry Chau told police on March 14 last year that his parents were missing after claiming that they had gone to the mainland "to have fun". But at the same time, Henry Chau was sending WhatsApp messages from inside the police station to a friend in which he confessed that he had killed his parents and needed more time to say a final goodbye to his friends before serving life in prison, the prosecution said.
The police arrested Henry Chau and Tse on March 15. They conducted a search of the flat at 38 Fuk Chak Street in Tai Kok Tsui and found the dismembered bodies, as well as notes and receipts that suggested the pair had started planning the killings in November 2012.
"Their crime was greatly premeditated. Their planning was extensive. Their preparation gathered pace in January and February. And on March 1, 2013 they carried out the killings as they had planned," Arthur said.
After his arrest, Henry Chau told police that he and Tse killed his parents, but that it was Tse who dismembered the bodies.
He said he chose to kill his parents because his emotional connection with them had broken down.
He claimed Tse told him the fridges were not big enough and that Tse then salted some of the remains and kept them in boxes.
Another method he alleged Tse had used was to cook the remains of the bodies. He claimed Tse looked at it as "chopping barbecued pork", before packing the remains in rice boxes along with some rice and disposing of them in a rubbish bin.
But Tse, in a video interview with police, denied playing any part in the killings. He said Henry Chau had showed him a box containing a human hand and other body parts before warning him that it would be hard for Tse to convince people that he had not helped dismember the bodies.
Before the trial began, Deputy Judge Michael Stuart-Moore told the jury that Henry Chau and Tse had admitted two counts of preventing the lawful burial of the couple.
Henry Chau also pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility due to his abnormality of mind. But the prosecution did not accept the pleas.
The trial continues today.