Judges were asked yesterday to consider releasing the convicted murderer of a young karaoke hostess on claims he never intended to kill the woman when he smashed her head against rocks and burned her alive. Security guard Lam Chun-wah, 56, was jailed for life on October 8, 1997, for murdering the 20-year-old woman whose body was so badly burned that fireman could not determine if it was male or female. He had pleaded not guilty to murder. Lam was arrested after he left his address book at the scene containing the victim's name and telephone number. The woman - Liu Kam-mei - was last seen alive on October 23, 1996, after finishing work at the Jordan Palace Karaoke Night Club at 6am. Lam usually walked along the same street after his night shift. The pair met and travelled to Tuen Mun, but as they approached Sam Shing Temple near Castle Peak beach, Lam attacked her. Lam said that he banged his victim's head twice against rocks, then saw her get up before she collapsed. He then set the woman alight. A postmortem examination revealed Liu had been burned to death and did not die from head injuries as a result of the assault. In the Court of Appeal yesterday, Lam's lawyer, Mike Poll, said police had told Lam the victim died of head injuries. Lam then replied that he killed her. Mr Poll said Mr Justice Michael Wong Kin-chow erred by telling jurors that this was a confession. He said this was a confession to assault, not murder, since Liu did not die until her body was burned. 'You must show it in the context of somebody believing she was already dead and disposing of the body,' Mr Poll said. 'Lam never suggests that he deliberately tried to kill her or cause her serious harm.' Judgment by Mr Justice Michael Stuart-Moore, Mr Justice Brian Keith and Mr Justice Simon Mayo was reserved.