A MAN went on trial in the High Court yesterday accused of murdering a staff member of a Kowloon City watch shop who was shot in the head after an unsuccessful robbery attempt. Ho Tung-shing, 37, admitted shooting Cheng Wai-kuen, but the Crown would not accept his plea of the lesser offence of manslaughter. He is being tried by a jury before Mr Justice Leong. In his opening address, Senior Crown Counsel Richard Donald said all the staff of Shui Hing Watch Co were members of the Cheng family which owed the business. At about 8.30 pm on June 1, 1989, there were no more customers in the shop and the only staff left were Cheng Wai-kuen, his father, his older brother and his uncle. A man, whom the Crown said belonged to a gang, came in and asked to look at a Rolex watch. He had negotiated a price for the watch before leaving, saying that he would return the next day to buy it. Soon after he left, Ho entered the shop with a handgun and held up the shop, Mr Donald said. But when a second robber tried to smash the showcase with a hammer, it activated an alarm, the court heard. The two men had fled without taking anything. As they were running away from the shop, Cheng picked up a stool and chased after them shouting, followed by his brother. During the chase, Ho stopped, turned and as he was face to face with Cheng, who was about three metres away from him, he deliberately fired two shots at him, counsel said. The first shot missed Cheng, but the second one hit him in the head, the court heard. The bullet was embedded in Cheng's brain and he died the next day. A 15-year-old schoolboy who was on his way home also heard the first shot before he saw Ho pointing his pistol at the sky. He then saw him lower the pistol, point it at Cheng and fire again, said Mr Donald. When Ho was arrested on November 1, 1991, a gun seized from his Sha Tin home was found to be the one used to shoot Cheng. Ho is defended by Keith Oderberg. The hearing continues.