WHEN born-again Christian Patrick David Wong, 38, walked out of the Supreme Court this week, he was jubilant. Acquitted of manslaughter charges for the gruesome death of Brenda Wong Tze-kwan, he had spent almost four years in prison after years of addiction to gambling and hard drugs, particularly cocaine. His pretty new wife Shirley, also a member of the charismatic religious sect, the Children of God, was by his side, also victorious. She had thrown herself at the mercy of the court, and pleaded her husband's innocence and they had accepted her faith in him. Now Patrick Wong let it be known, as he embraced his new bride for the benefit of the cameras, a new and reformed life lay ahead for him. His life of drugs, gambling and womanising was behind him, he said, as was the flamboyance and the unproven allegations that he traded drugs in prison. ''God made me decide to marry,'' he said. ''We are in love. I am going to stay with her for the rest of my life. I have found real faith in God and I will stay with it.'' He said he would stay in Hongkong for a while and work for the voluntary Prisoners' Friends Foundation, in Sha Tin. Then the couple quickly departed the courts. Presumably, the former Catholic and chartered bus company driver has retreated into the welcoming arms of fellow members of the Children of God sect in Macau. But nobody is sure. Patrick Wong has spent the past four years in jail but it's only recently that he has found a new God, and the cast of cynics in the two trials he has survived believe he has more likely fled from further prosecution. About 200 yards away, protected from clicking cameras, another journey was being undertaken by the beautiful Kitty Yu Mo-ling, but not to freedom. Her next stop was a cell, a short ride she reportedly made unmoved and expressionless, to serve the remaining time of her seven-year sentence. Her life was in ruins. She had spent her life savings to help feed Wong drugs and maintain his other addiction, gambling, particularly at the races. She had few friends, no money and only remnants of a reputation. Her association with Wong had led to herown addiction to cocaine and the humiliation of her rejection by Wong during their first trial for the murder of 28-year-old Brenda Wong Tze-kwan, in 1989. Brenda's parents and two brothers also had nothing to say, except to let it be known they could not accept the verdict as total justice. They fled to Zhuhai, after the verdict was handed down, still numbed by the fact that their model daughter had squandered her life savings of $500,000 and died as a result of her involvement in a twisted triangle of love with Wong and Yu. DURING the past four years, since he and Miss Yu were charged with the murder of Brenda Wong Tze-kwan, then 28, Wong has continued to display the hold over women that led to the ghastly death of his former Cathay Pacific flight attendant lover and his recent marriage while in prison. How does he do it? What is his power over women? observers of the two trials asked this week. The police in charge of the murder investigation have asked the same questions but they think they have some answers. This week, after the jury acquitted Wong, and convicted Yu of manslaughter, those same police were preparing to lay further charges against Wong. His victims share common traits. They are young, beautiful and unselfish. They have fallen in love easily and they have been betrayed. The police have a dozen statements from these young women who had agreed, with varying commitments, to help fund his lifestyles and they, unlike a humiliated Kitty Yu, want him to answer their cases. One senior investigator has come across the power of Wong to hold women in his sway. After police discovered Brenda Wong's decomposing body in a trunk in Wong's flat, police arrested him and Miss Yu and put them in adjoining cells at the local police station before they laid charges. All evidence was circumstantial at that stage on May 11, as the police were yet to discover that Brenda Wong had arrived at her former lover's flat in Tsok Pou Hang, Sha Tin on May 6, after a pre-dawn call from him. Four days later they discovered her body in a bathroom of the Sha Tin flat, after a downstairs neighbour complained of a sickly smell emanating from the bathroom above his apartment. Police involved in the case said that the couple had been left alone in the separate cells for a period of time when they heard panting noises and heavy breathing from the prison block. Fearing that Miss Yu was hurt, they rushed to the scene, and insteadfound that the young office clerk and Wong were engaging in oral sex through the bars of their adjoining cells. Miss Yu demonstrated similar devotion but in a more concrete form during the process of the two trials. The couple were first convicted of murder in September 1991 but after an appeal, a second trial was ordered. A key factor in that decision was Miss Yu's decision to alter her statement and substantially accept the blame for the death of Miss Wong. THROUGHOUT his imprisonment, Wong, an American citizen, who was brought up in Hongkong but left for the United States in the early 80s, has maintained his innocence and blamed his dramatic decline into drug dependence on his family circumstances. The eldest child of four from a traditional Chinese family, he arrived back in Hongkong in 1986, without any drug or gambling problems, he told The South China Morning Post, in September 1991. Within a year of his return, his mother - a devout Catholic - developed stomach cancer, and died within months of the initial diagnosis in September 1987. Two months later, his father died and he said, he sought consolation in cocaine supplied to him, through the mail, from a friend in the US. From then on his life sank into a cycle of twilight gambling, card games, drugs and womanising. One observer said this week that perhaps that was his appeal. Many of his women friends were enchanted by his sexy charm but also engaged by the possibility that they could sustain their relationship with him if they could be his saviour. The exact time of his progress to a cleaner life has yet to be revealed but sources say that saviour Shirley emerged as the most prominent influence in his life within the last 12 months. Struggling to understand the reasons for Wong's change, an observer at the last trial said that despite Wong's terrible treatment of Miss Yu, and his public avocation that he had loved and wanted to marry Brenda Wong, his convicted co-defendant has refused to rule him out of her life as a demon. It is a charisma that has proved his salvation. It is also this shallow charisma that is often so compelling to individuals who seek to join religious sects such as the Children of God. Ironically, Patrick Wong may have found a natural spiritual outlet for a personality so powerful that it can persuade people to support him, regardless of his fading regard for their feelings. He may yet turn up before congregations of the charismatic faithful, that is if the police's proposed investigations don't waylay him to further court appearances first.