Paralysed woman set on fire by cheating husband begs Hong Kong court to show him mercy

Waiter who spent years taking care of his stricken wife launched the attack after she dredged up his infidelity during row

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 September, 2016, 4:44pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 September, 2016, 8:46pm

A paralysed woman set alight by her husband during a row over his unfaithfulness had forgiven him and begged the High Court to show him mercy on Monday.

In a letter penned on her behalf, Cheung Yin-ha said: “I want to see my husband. I hope he can come home early to take care of me. I shouldn’t have thrown a tantrum.”

Cheung, who lives on welfare, is still receiving medical treatment in hospital.

Earlier in the day her husband, Wong Yun-cheong, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He had poured turpentine over the upper body of his wife and set her alight in their flat on the Po Lam public housing estate in Tseung Kwan O last year.

In a recorded interview, Wong told police that his wife had suffered a stroke about 12 years ago that paralysed the left side of her body. He then resigned as head waiter at a restaurant to take care of her, the court was told.

The court also heard that the couple lived on the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme and that their two children had moved out and had their own families.

Wong was said to have argued with Cheung at their home on August 13 last year over an extramarital affair that had taken place in the past.

Filled with misgivings about his wife losing trust in him and about the hardships he had suffered in taking care of the sick and frustrated woman alone, Wong took a bottle of turpentine from the kitchen and poured the liquid over her body, the court heard. He then set her on fire.

In making a plea for leniency, Wong said he had lost control of himself, but within a short time, said to be just seconds, he had doused the flames after hearing his wife scream in pain and called police.

Cheung was left with second- and third-degree burns covering 16 per cent of her body.

The husband had expressed regret at the attack and had intended to kill himself, the court heard.

High Court judge Mr Justice Albert Wong Sung-hau will pass sentence on September 28, pending psychiatric and psychological reports on the couple.