Neighbour guilty of manslaughter

A CONSTRUCTION site worker who fatally struck a neighbour with a water pipe during a row was yesterday convicted of manslaughter.

A High Court jury found Chan Chong-hei not guilty of the murder of 42-year-old Yu Po-ka, but guilty of the lesser offence on the grounds of provocation.

Chan 54, who had denied the charge, claimed that he hit Yu in self-defence. He will be sentenced by Mr Justice Bewley on February 28, pending a background report.

During the trial, prosecutor Aziz Hoosen said the two men were tenants of a Shau Kei Wan flat, but occupying different cubicles.

In the evening of February 13 last year, they had a row over the use of the washing machine and it soon escalated to an exchange of blows.

According to Chan's daughter, Chan Chiu-tai, who lived with her husband in the same premises, she saw her father lying on the floor with Yu standing over him.

She tried to scare Yu off by waving a water pipe, but Yu made her drop it.

Ms Chan ran to get the police when Chan got to his feet and struck Yu with a plastic stool.

When she returned, Yu was lying on the floor and her father was hitting him with the pipe.

Yu was certified dead early the next morning. He had more than 80 wounds, including fractures, bruises and abrasions. He died from skull fractures and brain damage.

Chan, represented by Patrick Lim, admitted striking Yu, but maintained that Yu had hit him first.

He said he hit back in self-defence.