A debt-ridden policeman attacked a woman and threatened to beat her to death before robbing her of bank cards, a court heard yesterday. Police Constable Cheung Tze-ming, 37, told the District Court he was driven to crime because of gambling debts of $500,000. He admitted robbing and assaulting Ng Kin-tsz, 31. Prosecutor Ben Beaumont said the victim had accompanied her grandmother, Ng Mei-ching, 88, to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on February 9. As the pair were leaving, the defendant approached them, said he was a police officer and asked the younger Ms Ng for her identity card. After showing her ID, Ms Ng became suspicious and asked the defendant for his warrant card but was ignored. Cheung then put his hand into the victim's handbag and took two bank cards, the court heard. Ms Ng grabbed his jacket collar but Cheung hit her on the head repeatedly. He shouted: 'You'd better release your hand otherwise I'll beat you to death,' and continued to assault her. Ms Ng's grandmother tried to help but was pushed by the defendant and fell over, suffering a fractured thigh. During the struggle, a passerby called two hospital security guards who subdued the defendant. The younger woman suffered pain in her head and chest. Deputy Judge Hugh Sinclair adjourned sentencing until June 3 for reports.