A WOMAN was tortured and brutally hacked to death by robbers on the first day of her retirement, a High Court jury heard yesterday. Chiu Yuk-shan, 48, a knitting factory worker, had just picked up her $13,000 pay-off when she was ambushed in her flat. She was repeatedly hacked with a chopper and her skull was smashed with a hammer. 'This was a cold-blooded, vicious murder,' said prosecutor John McMaster. One of the robbers was the victim's cousin, Chiu Sau-wah, 20. She was forced to participate by her boyfriend, Hui Kwan-ho, 20, who tried to choke her when she refused, the court heard. Chiu Sau-wah, who admits robbery, has been given immunity from prosecution on the murder charge in exchange for testifying against Hui and his friend Cheung Tsz-pan, 16. Hui and Cheung have also pleaded guilty to robbery but deny murder. Mr McMaster said Chiu Sau-wah had even slashed her wrists in a suicide attempt to avoid taking part in the raid. The victim was attacked at her flat in Ma On Shan on May 31, last year. She was chopped by Hui and Cheung and tortured to reveal the secret number code for her credit card, it was alleged. 'It was Hui who asked Cheung to fetch a hammer. It was Hui who finished off this poor, unfortunate, defenceless woman by striking her on the head with the hammer,' said Mr McMaster. The victim suffered 16 chop wounds to her head and neck and was left with the hammer embedded in her head and blood oozing under her bedroom door. Her body was found after worried relatives called in the police. Hui and Cheung milked the victim's bank accounts of $25,500 using her stolen credit card. After the killing they went to Cheung Chau for a few days 'relaxation' at a villa, the court was told. Chiu Sau-wah was quickly arrested and confessed to being involved. The police also arrested Cheung's girlfriend and used her to lure both men into a trap, said Mr McMaster. She arranged a meeting with them at a bar in Tsim Sha Tsui on June 9 where the police arrested them. Both men made chilling confessions to the police, the jury was told. Hui allegedly said: 'I hated her very much. She spoke ill of me. I had intended to do it to her and to make money at the same time.' Cheung said he had helped Hui because he was a very good friend. He allegedly described seeing Hui 'sitting on her back, chopping her and asking for the ID number of her cash dispenser card'. Both men said they had rehearsed the attack. Chiu Sau-wah had posed as the victim so Hui and Cheung could find the quickest way of disabling her, the court heard. 'If we succeeded, she would be chopped to death,' Hui was said to have told the police. The trial, before Mr Justice Gall, continues today.