Hong Kong man who ‘strangled disabled wife feared no one would take care of her if he fell sick’
Neighbours described a ‘loving couple’ whose only son died several years ago
An 80-year-old Hong Kong man was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of killing his chronically ill, disabled wife in a bid to end her suffering after he surrendered himself to police.
A police investigation revealed retiree Wong Kwok-man had strangled 76-year-old Lam Mei-kam in bed in their Shau Kei Wan public housing flat as he feared no one would take care of her if he fell sick or died, a force insider said.
The tragedy happened because Lam’s health condition had worsened recently, he added.
Neighbours described the pair as a “loving couple” whose only son died several years ago.
A neighbour surnamed Hui said Wong was exhausted from taking care of his wife as he had to buy food, cook and even help her shower. “He was very tired and had a hard time,” she said.
Wong called police to his Yiu Ming House flat in Yiu Tung Estate shortly after 9am, saying he had killed his wife. She was found unconscious in bed with bruising on her neck when emergency personnel arrived. She was certified dead at the scene.
A 30cm-long bamboo rod, believed to have been used to strangle her, was also found.
Another police source said initial examinations had showed that Lam was attacked at about 5.30am yesterday. He said after the attack, the man went out for breakfast, returned home, took a shower and tidied up the flat before calling police.
Chief Inspector Lam Yiu of the Eastern district crime squad said the man was the only one taking care of the woman and her health condition was believed to be the motive behind the killing.
“Initial examination by the pathologist showed the victim had died from suffocation,” he said.
The elderly man was arrested at the scene. Last night, he was still being held for questioning at the North Point Police Station and had not been charged.
The source said the woman had been confined to a wheelchair after a stroke about three years ago. She also suffered from several chronic diseases.
Legislator Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung wrote on his Facebook page that it was a case of “domestic violence that was probably caused by insufficient support”.
Social welfare sector lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun criticised the government for its lack of resources and support to such families.
He said there was a long queue of applicants for home care service, and a waiting time of about one to two years.
It is the second murder case in the city in eight days.
Last Monday, three Hongkongers were arrested on suspicion of killing their 20-year-old friend near the top of Black Hill, also known as Ng Kwai Shan, in Lam Tin.