A barge crane operator lied when he told police last year that his girlfriend was missing - he had instead assaulted her and thrown her into the sea, causing her to drown, a court heard yesterday.
Ng Yung-kun, 44, made a missing persons report on February 21 last year - five days after the body of Zhong Mingfang, 38, was found trapped under a ferry that had returned from Macau, the Court of First Instance heard.
When police questioned Ng two days later, he said he might have killed her accidentally. He denies one count of manslaughter over the death of Zhong on February 15 last year.
"When [Ng] made that missing persons report, he was telling calculated and cynical lies to cover the fact that he had killed [Zhong] on February 15," prosecutor Michael Arthur said. "He was the only person who knew what had happened to her."
In his opening address, Arthur said Ng went to Mong Kok police station and reported that he had lost contact with his girlfriend after they quarrelled in his flat in Chai Wan.
Ng changed his version two days later, telling police that he had drunk about 20 cans of beers, and Zhong about three cans, on the night that she went missing. The pair had been on a barge travelling from Lamma Island to the Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter.
Zhong pushed and punched him, Ng claimed in his statement to police. He felt annoyed and pushed her away.
Ng said he thought she had probably lost her balance and hit her head on the floor. When he woke up later, he found she was not breathing, and he threw her body into the sea.
Zhong's corpse was found in the ferry's propeller intake shaft.
A forensic pathologist found bruises and abrasions on Zhong's body and a high level of alcohol in her blood, but concluded that drowning was the cause of death.
Wong Oi-ming, a crane operator, testified that he had joined the pair for a hotpot meal on the barge that night. They drank during the meal, Wong said. Later that night, Ng woke him in his bed and asked whether he had seen Zhong. Ng also asked his son to look for her, Wong said.
A policewoman said that Ng, on his second visit to the station, claimed that a newspaper sketch of a female body found in the sea looked like Zhong.
The hearing continues today before Mrs Justice Verina Bokhary.