A radiologist has been acquitted of supplying dangerous drugs to her godmother, late philanthropist Anita Chan Lai-ling - but not without drawing strong words from the trial magistrate for her lack of professionalism.
Chan died of an overdose aged 69 in 2007, four years after Dr Yau Yat-yin started prescribing six types of medicines, allegedly to ease her pain and relieve her sleeping problems.
In 2010, an inquest was opened to look into her death.
Eastern Court Magistrate So Wai-tak said he found Yau, 55, not guilty because, although the 5,905 tablets prescribed to Chan sounded a lot, only two out of the six types had slightly exceeded the daily dosage.
He also took into consideration that the drugs were handed out over a period of four years.
But So slammed Yau's poor judgment for not keeping full written medical records on Chan, who, the court heard earlier, had asked her goddaughter not to do so because of privacy concerns.
"What if she ceased to be Chan's doctor," the magistrate asked as he handed down the verdict yesterday.
Yau had admitted giving Chan the 5,905 anti-depressant tablets - belonging to the benzodiazepine family - and two fentanyl painkilling patches. But she pleaded not guilty to supplying dangerous drugs.
So said Yau should have realised the importance of keeping records after practising as a doctor for more than 30 years.
Yau complied with Chan's request not to do so in an attempt, the court heard, to win trust, but So said this was "highly unsatisfactory".
The magistrate said Yau's claim that she did keep some records was "wholly untruthful", as she had never been able to produce any of those records.
So also queried Yau's decision to provide her patient with four months' medication in one go on the basis that Chan had once taken a brief course in nursing.
The magistrate said Yau's reliance on Chan's medical knowledge was not right, as a doctor should treat every patient without regard to their background.
He also noted that between February 2003 and May 2007 - the alleged period of offence - Yau appeared to have acquired second opinions from other doctors for some of the prescriptions.
But So disagreed with the prosecution's case that Yau was not acting in the capacity of a doctor but as a friend, saying both relationships could co-exist.
As the hearing ended, Yau turned round and hugged one of her friends.
Outside court, defence lawyer Giles Surman said his client was "delighted that justice has been done". He said: "She can finally move on with her medical practice after many, many years [of legal battle]."
Anson Chan, Anita Chan's elder son, said the family was sorry about the verdict, but noted that the judge did see beyond Yau's lack of professionalism. "He didn't support her one-sidedly."
He said the family expected Yau would face another hearing before the Medical Council.