A 78-YEAR-OLD man was knifed to death by two teenage neighbours when he interrupted them ransacking his home, the High Court heard. It was five days before his body, with multiple wounds to the head and a 16-centimetre slash across the neck, was discovered. Waiter Leung Yuk-ki, 19 and forex salesman Tai Ming-kuen, 18, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Wong Kam on May 6, last year at a wooden hut in an isolated village in Sheung Shui. Senior Crown Counsel John McMaster said Leung, armed with the knife, caused a large number of wounds, cuts and injuries and also cut Wong's throat causing his death. Mr McMaster said Tai assisted Leung, but he was not a silent partner. He took part in the assault, punching Wong and covering his mouth with his hand. The pathologist found that the thyroid and the jugular vein had been severed. The court heard that the three men lived in the same village, Tai Lung Tsuen, which is a fairly isolated and rural community. The defendants were neighbours of Wong. Mr McMaster said it was the intention of the defendants when they went to Wong's house to rob or steal. But when they got there, Wong appeared and they attacked him. Counsel told the jury that Wong knew the defendants and killing him was one way to make sure he did not testify against them. Afterwards, they bolted the door and took the key, a watch and four jade ornaments they found there. Mr McMaster said they had second thoughts about what evidence was left behindso after throwing the key into a bush they returned to wipe away any fingerprints. They bolted the door from the inside and left again by a window. The deceased's brother, who lived in Kowloon, became concerned when he could not contact his brother, so he went over to see him on May 11 when his body was discovered. When Leung was asked to call at the police station, the first thing he said was ''I did not intend to kill'', Mr McMaster said. Leung also told police that he and Tai went to the house to steal things, but the deceased appeared and they grabbed him and placed a knife at his throat, but he struggled, and the knife cut his throat. Mr McMaster told the jury that when they heard the pathologist they might think it was not ''a simple slash''. The knife was found in Leung's home. He also told police later that there was a struggle between the deceased and Tai. Leung said he placed the knife against the deceased and told him to be quiet, but he kept shouting, so he punched the top of his head a few times. Tai told police that he hid behind a door when the deceased walked in and then grabbed him from behind and they struggled. Tai said he placed his hand over Wong's mouth and Leung pointed a knife at his throat and somehow gashed him with one stroke. When Wong collapsed on the floor, Tai covered him with a cloth. Leung and Tai are on trial before Mr Justice Woo and a jury and are defended by Chan Siu-ming and Michael Ko. The hearing continues.