'Killer son put blame on broken heart'

Psychiatrist says Ian Fok recently showed signs of turmoil over break-up with girlfriend but has shown no regret over violent death of his father

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 5:49am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 5:49am

A murder suspect on trial for killing his father and trying to kill his mother came up with a fresh excuse this month for the attack: a break-up with his girlfriend just before his father died, a court heard yesterday.

Ian Lee Christoffer Fok Lap-yin, 20, displayed emotional distress about the split with his girlfriend but no regret for the death of his father or the injuries his mother suffered, prosecution witness and government psychiatrist Dr Kavin Chow Kit-wan said.

In 17 months of diagnostic sessions since the attack on March 16 last year, Chow said Fok had told her inconsistent stories - of multiple identities, various plans to take his parents' lives, and then, just ahead of the trial starting last week, he told her that splitting up with his girlfriend, coupled with looming examinations, had been difficult for him.

"He claimed he felt stressed after breaking up with his girlfriend a day before the incident, and [because of] the upcoming examinations," Chow told the Court of First Instance. "He wanted to get away from his family so that he could get freedom."

Ian Fok denies teaming up with his friend Chan Ming-tin, 20, to kill his father Fok Lai-chi, 50, and attempt to murder his mother, Irene Fok, 40, at their home in Pat Heung, Yuen Long. Ian Fok denies both charges, while Chan is pleading guilty to murder.

The court heard last week that Chow and another government doctor who examined Ian Fok concluded he did not have multiple-personality disorder.

At yesterday's hearing, Chow said Fok, in the first few months after his arrest in March last year, had told her he was driven by different identities.

In an April 2013 session, he claimed to have learned from his own online messages that one of his identities had thought of assigning a friend to rob and kill his parents. That identity had also thought of poisoning his parents, Chow said in court.

She noted Fok had also claimed initially that he did not know what was happening until his father shouted for help that night, waking him up.

Chow had not prescribed any medication for him until he expressed worries in the last two months about the trial, upon which she prescribed him sleeping pills.

The psychiatrist added that Fok had narrated details of the attack on his parents in a calm and logical manner just a few hours after the attack. "It was unlikely that he was affected by any psychosis or delusion."

Chow said Fok displayed anger when he learned of Chan's initial intention to plead not guilty. She found Fok superficial, unremorseful and unempathetic, and that he tended to manipulate the information he gave her. "He has psychopathic traits, rather than suffering from psychosis," she added.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Peter Line today.