Lover resented boy, murder trial told

The mother of a four-year-old boy who was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by her live-in lover testified yesterday that the man could not accept her son as part of the family and had taunted the boy over the way he spoke.

Asked to identify him in court, a sobbing Ng Yu-ping, 32, said she would never forget the face of accused Lam Shing-tak, 31.

She said Lam had repeatedly told her not to talk to her son, Law Shiu-wai, over the phone or see him again.

Toy salesman Lam denies kidnapping and murdering Shiu-wai on June 30, 1999, at Wong Chuk Hang Estate, Aberdeen.

The boy's body was found floating in Gin Drinkers Bay, near Tsing Yi, by a fisherman on July 3, 1999. He was gagged, his legs were tied with adhesive tape and his thumbs were locked together with plastic straps, prosecutor Frederic Whitehouse has told the Court of First Instance.

Ms Ng told the court she married her husband, Law Tai-yau, 34, on the mainland in 1992 and moved to the SAR with Shiu-wai in March 1997.

Ms Ng said she came to know Lam in October 1997 when they both worked at a cafe in Ocean Park. They talked frequently about her family problems, as her husband had gambling debts.

They became lovers and Ms Ng moved out to live with him in Yuen Long in early 1999. She would see her son once a week and talk to him on the phone.

But she said Lam did not like her talking to Shiu-wai and she realised he did not like the child.

'He even told me not to see my son again. He told me I did not have to care about my son. My son's father would take care of him,' she said. Ms Ng said the defendant also taunted the boy over his pronunciation and told him to shut up.

Shiu-wai's father told the court yesterday he picked the boy up from kindergarten in Wong Chuk Hang Estate at about 5pm on June 30 and stopped to buy food, leaving his son outside. Shiu-wai then disappeared.

Security camera videotape played in court yesterday showed a man putting his arms around Shiu-wai and carrying him away while he was standing alone.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Colin Jackson on Monday.