A murder conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal yesterday because of a judge's 'unfair and unfortunate' direction to the jury. The court ordered that Chiu Siu-tung, 30, face a retrial and took the rare step of awarding him the costs of the appeal. Legal fees faced by Chiu, who hired a private barrister to challenge the conviction, will now be met by the taxpayer. Chiu was jailed for life in July last year for stabbing to death a waiter, Lee Sai-ying, 26, outside a Tsim Sha Tsui bar on November 10, 1991. He also received two 15-year sentences for seriously wounding the victim's brothers, Lee Sai-kit, 34, and Lee Sai-tak, 25. But Gerard McCoy, for Chiu, said he had been denied the chance of an acquittal because of the 'wrong, confusing and prejudicial' direction given by the judge. The court heard the direction to the jury came after Mr Justice Michael Wong completed his summing up. It was drawn to his attention by the prosecution he had not dealt with evidence relating to Chiu's fleeing Hong Kong within an hour of the killing. The Crown had argued his flight to Macau was an important indication of his guilty conscience. Chiu claimed he left the territory in a hurry because he had been present at the scene of the killing and feared he would be murdered by triads involved. Mr Justice Wong, having sent the jury out to consider verdicts, called them back and told them they were entitled to take Chiu's flight into account. It was 'most unfortunate' the judge had not agreed a form of words for his direction with both the prosecution and the defence before addressing the jury, said Mr Justice Simon Mayo. The direction was particularly unfair because Chiu had been subjected to vigorous cross-examination over his decision to leave after the killing. Mr Justice Mayo, sitting with Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary and Mr Justice Noel Power, said the judge should have told jurors they could only hold the flight against the defendant if they were sure of his reasons for leaving. The court granted an application by the Crown for a new trial to be ordered and refused an application by Mr McCoy for Chiu to be given bail.