Hong Kong police arrest man suspected of attempting to murder his two children with rat poison

He was also accused of trying to strangle his daughter

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 2:24pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 11:01pm

A 35-year-old Hong Kong man was arrested on suspicion of attempting to murder his six-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter after he tried to feed them rat poison at the family’s village house in Tuen Mun in the early hours of Monday.

The funeral parlour employee was also accused of trying to strangle his daughter with his hands before he was stopped by his elder sister, 46, according to a police source.

The source said the suspect’s elder sister threw away the rat poison, then locked the two children with her in a bedroom and waited for emergency crews to arrive at their house in Po Tong Ha Tsuen off Tong Hang Road in Tuen Mun.

He said the father was believed to have been drunk at the time of the incident which happened shortly after 1.30am on Monday.

Both children did not consume any rat poison in the incident, according to the source.

Bruises were found on the girl’s neck and she was taken conscious to the nearby Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment.

Her brother, who did not suffer any injuries, was also taken to the same hospital for examination.

Police said the children’s mother was not at home at the time, with initial investigations showing she left the family during the Lunar New Year holiday after a heated argument with her husband, the source said.

The suspect’s elder sister, visiting from the mainland, was staying with the family during the holiday.

At about 1.30am on Monday, the suspect told his sister that he wanted to poison the two children, according to the source.

“When she threw away the rat poison, [it was suspected that the man then tried to] strangle his daughter,” he said.

“[His sister] immediately took the two children into one of the bedrooms and locked [the door].”

The woman then made a report to police and emergency crews were called.

According to police, neighbours also called the force after hearing someone shout for help.

After inquiries, officers arrested the man on suspicion of attempting to murder his two children. He was still held at the Tuen Mun police station for questioning in the afternoon but has not been charged.

Investigators from the Tuen Mun district crime squad are looking into the case.

Police said social workers from the Social Welfare Department would also follow up on the case.

Figures from the department showed there were 653 newly reported child abuse cases in the first nine months of last year, with parents making up 58.4 per cent of the alleged abusers. Almost 43 per cent of the 653 cases involved physical abuse.

There were a total of 874 reports of child abuse in the whole of 2015, up from 856 in 2014.