A judge refused an 87-year-old woman's request yesterday to allow the sale of her late son's flat for fear of leaving the man's widow and daughters homeless. Mr Justice David Yam Yee-kwan said selling the flat in Jaffe Road, Wan Chai, would have yielded $300,000 each for the woman, Chow Doi-kwai, and her daughter-in-law, Chan Cho-yuk, 36. But the money would make both women ineligible for social security assistance, which they now receive, he said. 'This is actually a very sad case,' Mr Justice Yam said in the Court of First Instance. The two women were each left a half-share in the flat when Chau Mo-yin died of lung cancer in 1997. Ms Chan lives in the flat with her two daughters, aged four and two, and the family survives on monthly social security assistance of $7,000. Although Ms Chan would have $300,000 at her disposal, 'chances are that would not last very long'. 'That would not even be enough for one year's expenditure if she had to pay rental for the household,' the judge said, adding the sale would not give Ms Chow much benefit either. Ms Chow lives in a home for the elderly and receives $5,860 social security assistance a month. Her share would only be sufficient to pay for her stay in the home for 15 months, the judge said. No order was made on costs as both parties received legal aid.