The tragic events which plagued jailed father Lee Tung-fat throughout his life began when he was sold into slavery by his parents as a child, the court heard. It was supposed to be his younger brother who met this fate, but Lee would not let him go. 'When the time came to hand over the younger brother he insisted he did not want to go and cried all night long. The defendant decided to take his place, and was himself sold,' said Peter Wan, defending. 'His childhood was hell,' said Mr Wan. Later he married his first wife and had three sons and two daughters but struggled to support his family as a farmer in a remote part of China. He adopted a fourth son, a baby found dying by a riverside after being dumped by his own parents, because Lee could not bear to see him perish. The father would cycle for hours every day to a neighbouring village in a bid to earn a little cash. 'These trips made him extremely exhausted. In order to give his family a better life he took on this burden and struggled through his life,' the judge was told. He came to Hong Kong in 1981. 'His only driving force was for his children to have a brighter life. Throughout all these years he never gave any thought to himself. He was only living for his family,' said Mr Wan. Lee was devastated when his first wife died in 1990. He returned to the mainland and five years later met Ng Sau-fong, the woman he was ultimately to kill. Ng persuaded him to move back to Hong Kong and events took another sad turn when she suffered a traffic accident several months before her death.