A mentally ill man who killed two people and seriously injured three in a stabbing spree at his public housing estate has been sent to a psychiatric institute indefinitely.
Handing down the hospital order yesterday, Mrs Justice Verina Bokhary said it was the best option for Li Chung-man, 43, who suffers from schizophrenia.
The court heard that Li, who complained that 'everyone made a monkey out of me' carried out the attacks at the Kwai Shing Estate on May 8 last year after a dispute with two neighbours over use of a passage. The Housing Department had earlier denied his application for a flat transfer.
The deadly attack raised controversy in the community over whether mental patients should be evicted and separated from other residents.
Li was originally charged with two counts of murder but his plea of manslaughter by diminished responsibility was accepted by the prosecution. He also admitted to three counts of wounding with intent.
The judge said that in sending Li to the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre she took into account two psychiatric reports that said he would pose a threat and danger to society if free. She said the detention aimed not to punish Li but to protect the public. She ordered Li to receive psychiatric treatment and be assessed by experts regularly.
The court heard that the attack happened at 11am when two residents, Tam Yuet-shun and Lau Yun-lin, were sitting on the staircase between the sixth and seventh floors of the public flats. The pair did not know Li but had been scolded by him about a month before for talking too loudly.
When Li walked past the women, Lau moved her feet to make way for him and said, 'There are so many places to walk, why choose to walk through here?'
Li produced a knife and stabbed Lau several times, killing her, before turning to stab Tam in the waist. He chased Tam to the ground floor where he then stabbed a woman security guard, Chan Siu-ling. He went to the management office where he stabbed two other staff. Kwok Fong-kei was killed and his colleague Leung Yiu-cheung seriously hurt.
When he was arrested, Li told the police: 'The Housing Department people denied my application for a flat transfer. Everyone made a monkey out of me and oppressed me.'
Eighteen days after the stabbing spree, the Hospital Authority set up a review committee to look into the management and follow-up of mental patients with a history of violence.